Seminarian Victor Atuhura (Araali): If I had to define love, Mom would be it
In celebration of Mother’s Day, we asked seminarian at Holy Spirit Seminary, Victor Atuhura (Araali), about his mother Sally, and the role his spiritual mother, Mary has played in his life.
What are a few things favourite about your mother you appreciate?
She is the greatest friend I have ever met, a true embodiment of the faith, charity, compassion, love, generosity, obedience, inclusiveness, her ever-smiling face and patience. If love is for angels, then mom is that beautiful angel of love. What I admire most about Mom is that she was and continues to be “not only a mother but a wife and not only a wife but a mother”. I have always told people in a way that: “if they don’t believe in Angels, they haven’t met my Mom.”
Any favourite memories of time with her?
My favourite memories with Mom are too numerous to mention, but the finest one was whenever I joined Mom at wedding ceremonies or funerals or accompanied her in public functions. I watched people kneeling down to hand over money to her with smiles on their faces. Then I inquired from her one day, “Why do these people keep giving you money, Mom?” She replied, “Victor, I treat most of these people in my Clinic on debt; on the condition that when they obtain money, they would pay; some it takes months or even more than a year to pay, but no issue, they pay whenever; Victor; “It is not the money that matters but instead our lovely service to God’s people”
To me, this was the most important love lesson I’d ever learn, and if I had to define love, Mom would be it.
How has she supported your faith journey?
Mom handed down the faith to me as a child. In addition to being a committed reputable Anglican Christian, mum took me to the nearby Catholic parish for a two-year catechesis course during the holidays. She respected that we had to take our father’s faith following the patriarchal nature of our culture. Mom made sure we learned the prayers, she made sure we had all the requirements, she made sure we understood the prayers, and she made sure we started living like Christians: I remember Mom saying to me, “Victor my Son, “the life of faith means to live your life in a such a way that it would make no sense if God did not exist” till now this remains a point that gives me the vibes to try to my best each day to be that best lad.
When I became an altar server at the age of nine, Mom agreed to, and faithfully did, wake me up at 6 a.m. in that I can be the first at our local Parish Church, especially to ensure that I didn’t lose out on the only two altar servers’ vestments used to serve at the parish’s 7 a.m. daily Mass. Later on, she was the sole person who supported my decision to join the major seminary. The rest of my family members suggested I should choose to take the government scholarships that were available over the priesthood because they thought it was quicker to complete the secular Degree and will allow me to have a family and a better job in the shortest time. But Mom stood by me and said to me, “My son, there is nothing you can offer to God than to lay down your life for his service; go for it, if that is what your heart wants my son.”
The same thing happened when I made the decision to leave my own country to come over here to Australia as a lad ready to become a missionary priest here, despite the fact that I did not want to leave mom; my best friend in life. Everyone at home wondered why I should go to such a distant Country, but mum among the few told me; son, “If that is what the Lord wants, give it a try.”
Do you usually contact her for Mother’s Day?
Yes I do, we speak for hours…. And if I am in the same country I travel to her place and spend the entire day in her company.
What do you usually do on that day?
When I’m in the same country with Mom, I make it a point to visit her with gifts and spend the entire day reminiscing about our happy times. But anytime the day finds me in a different country than she is in, she receives my call as soon as she wakes up and we speak for hours.
What role does Mary play in your own personal faith?
Mother Mary plays a significant role in my faith because my mother prefigured her in my life, so Mary means a lot to me. I consider Mary to be our mystical and heavenly mother who intercedes for us before our heavenly Father, like how mom before my daddy. As a result, I believe she intercedes for us to the Father through his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, committed to Mary’s intercession on a daily basis through my rosary devotion, where I remember to pray for all the mothers.
Happy Mother’s Day to you; Our Mothers!
Victor Atahura (Araali) Image: Supplied.