Students and community members have been invited to a special ceremony at the St. Eugene Chapel, which is also FAMU’s Catholic student ministry center.
Now students may be asking themselves: “Wait a minute, FAMU has a Catholic student ministry?”
Yes they do, and in observance of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the St. Eugene Chapel will host a concert on Saturday and a special Mass the following Sunday.
Students may not be familiar with the ministry, which has been at FAMU since November 1952, but there is a list of founders associated with the University who established the ministry, according to St. Eugene Assistant Administrator Marti Johnson.
“We have a history with the University,” Johnson said. “We are also a part of the campus ministry board under student affairs. We are here for FAMU.”
St. Eugene is looking forward to using its open door policy in order to attract people to this weekend’s concert. The concert will feature the Mbofra Ne Nyame, or Children of God, choir and dance group from Miami. The choir and liturgical dancers are comprised of 32 children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19.
Mbofra Ne Nyame uses spiritual song and dance movements to minister to people. Rosetta Hylton, coordinator for the group, said they travel to different cities and states throughout the region.
This weekend they decided to come to Tallahassee.
“When we decide to travel to a city, we make sure the trip is always comprised of three elements,” she said.
“It must be spiritual, educational and fun. We minister everywhere we go. We visit colleges and we set aside time to have fun.”
Hylton said the choir will tour FAMU and FSU campuses this weekend.
“We are always stressing the importance of education,” she said. “We tell the children to visualize themselves in college.”
The dance coordinator said she wants the public to see the opposite of what they are seeing in the news.
“I want people to see the other side of children of color,” Hylton said.
“These children use their voice and their body to respect a higher being. They are not out there doing bad things.”
Hylton added that the childdren in the group are not all Catholic.
“They come from various churches and religious denominations,” she said. “It shows the audience that we are all God’s children.”
The Rev. Ilesanmi Osasona said the weekend, with its concert and special Mass, will be full of celebration.
“We hope that a lot of people will come; it’s going to be a good weekend,” he said.
Osasona has only pastored St. Eugene for three months, but he said he is excited about the holiday weekend and reaching out to students at the University.
“I want to be a link for students’ academic and spiritual life,” he said. “It’s going to be something worthwhile and a time to make new friends.
Contact Tiffany Pitts at PittsTiffany@hotmail.com.