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Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio, First Lady Fatima Bio Grace St. Anthony’s Patronal Feast, Say Peace Is the Cornerstone for Development

St. Anthony Parish, Brookfields, Freetown, Sunday 16 June 2024 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio and First Lady Fatima Maada Bio have graced this year’s thanksgiving and patronal feast day celebration of St. Anthony of Padua on the theme, “Building a Vibrant Parish,” at a ceremony that brought together Catholic worshippers in reflection of the saint’s life.


President Bio described the occasion as a historic moment for him, taking into consideration the fact that the parish was his first church before commencing worship at St. Luke. He reminded the gathering of how he never missed any mass at St. Anthony Parish, pointing out that, despite worshipping in another parish, he is happy to always join the congregation in worship.


While commenting on a short play on the life of St. Anthony of Padua by children between ages 5-7, he reminded the Church that there was no house without a strong foundation. He said because his government and the people of Sierra Leone had accepted education, the result of those investments was being recognised gradually.

President Bio confirmed, and reiterated to the congregation, his commitment to providing knowledge that was fit for purpose to the children for the development of the country. He called on parents, guardians, and fellow Sierra Leoneans to embrace education for their future investments.


The President said the skit by the children was a testament to the fact that education was the key to unlocking many potentials in the world. He associated the gains in education, health, women’s empowerment, and other tangible points as a result of peace. He therefore admonished that the cornerstone of development in any country was peace and urged Sierra Leoneans to embrace peace over all forms of violence.


The Vicar General of the Catholic Church in Sierra Leone, Very Rev. Joseph Kamanda, reminded worshippers that they were gathered to thank God and observe the feast of Christian faith. He said that as Catholics they relied on the saint to intercede for them and for them to also reflect on the life of the saint.

He said the status of mankind must not prevent him or her from worshipping and giving thanks to God, pointing out that age was not so important when it came to serving God. He said a call to holiness was for everybody, noting that even though St. Anthony came from a wealthy family, he chose to serve God.


He called on the church to be mindful of hope and resurrection as connecting words for the celebration, stating that, when challenging moments came, it was always required of mankind not to doubt God.


For More Enquiries: State House Media and Communications Unit


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