Feast of the Assumption – Sister Esther Adama, SNDdeN

Aug 7, 2023 | Gospel Reflections

August 15, 2023

Luke 1: 39-56

Dogmas are the core beliefs about faith. Since the beginning of time, the Church has proclaimed four Marian dogmas: the dogma of the Divine Motherhood known as the Theotokos, the dogma of Mary’s Perpetual Virginity, the dogma of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception, and finally the dogma of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Assumption. The Dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a proclamation of the Catholic Church’s long-held belief dating back to the beginning of time. Pope Pius XII made this declaration in his ‘Ex Cathedra’ proclamation and the Papal Bull Munificentissimus Deus in 1950.

According to this dogma, the Blessed Virgin Mary is brought up into heavenly glory, body and soul, and is exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things. This feast is anchored in Mary’s fiat, her “YES” to becoming Jesus’ mother, and her belief in Jesus’ teachings and deeds guide us to what it is to be a real follower of the Lord. Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth to rejoice with her resulted in the miracle of the child movement in Elizabeth’s womb. At the salutation of Mary, the holy one, the two unborn babies recognized each other. Both women are touched by God in extraordinary ways. We, too, have the ability to have an encounter with God

This feast also reminds me of the Queen Mother’s position in the African Traditional royal family, which is occasionally beautifully represented in Nigerian films. She is a powerful intercessor and a woman of authority. In most situations, she is the voice of the impoverished in the kingdom in question. For me, that is the position of Mary that this solemnity presents and reminds us of. She is also our intercessor because she is the Mother of Humanity. When we are weak and all we see around us is hopelessness, concerns, conflict, corruption, violence, poverty, high living costs, and a rising gap between the rich and the poor, Mary requests God’s powerful hand to constantly strengthen and guide us through.

This solemnity honors Mary not just as an intercessor, but also as a disciple of Jesus Christ, our Lord, her Lord, and the Saviour of all. Her assumption into heaven is a gift bestowed upon her not just for her own benefit, but also for ours. She is the most blessed of all women; she is Jesus’ first disciple and the perfect one. As intercessor, Mary encourages us to model our lives after her holy life in order to be closer to her Son, our Savour, Jesus Christ. Mary desires that we be Jesus’ disciples everywhere and at all times. There is no divergence from the truth specified in the gospel and the beatitudes, regardless of our situations, positions and functions in life. By being Mary’s company, we become truly the disciples of Jesus.

Let us place our needs, our sometimes-lukewarm hearts, the needs of our neighbors, the displaced, the traumatized, and the world at the heart of our great intercessor (Mary) in heaven, so that she may speak on our behalf to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Let us put our faith in the God of Impossibilities to guide and see us through. Thank you.



Luke 1: 39-56

Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.”
Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
The Gospel of the Lord




Meet Sister Esther Adama, SNDdeN

Esther Jumai Adama comes from Odagbo in Ankpa L. G. A. of Kogi State in Nigeria. She was born on the 27th March, 1970 to the family of the late Mr. Adama Ameloke and Mrs. Alice Adi Adama, both from the same Local Government Area. She is the second child in a family of ten children. Esther had her primary education at Ja’faru Estate Primary School Kabala-Doki in Kaduna State. The last part of her secondary education was at the Government Girls’ Secondary School in Bida, Niger State. Her desire and inspiration to become a religious started as far back as 1988. This burning desire prompted her to embark on teaching catechism to children both in the main parish and the out-stations of St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Kagara, Niger State. The parish priest, Fr. Oliver O’Reilly, inquired about her future ambitions. She said that she would love to work for God through service to the poor, as a Sister. When her parents learned about her desire, they were not pleased. In response to God’s call, she joined the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur on January 7th 1995. After her postulancy and Novitiate program, Sr. Esther made her first profession on November 15,1997 in Kulende, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. Her first mission was to Uzairue, Edo State to teach at St. Philip’s N/P school. In 1998, she gained admission to the Federal College of Education, Kontagora and graduated with her N.C.E qualification in 2001. Then, she was missioned to practice her field at St. Peter’s N/P school Ndeabor, Enugu State. On June 4, 2002, Sr. Esther was sent to the United States to study in a theological and formation programme at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, IL. On her return to Nigeria, she worked as Assistant Novice Directress for about two years in Ilorin, Kwara State. Later, she went for her Tertianship in preparation for final vows which she made on September 17, 2005.in October same year she was appointed to be the directress of Postulants in Nigerian, a position she held for six years after which she proceeded to study theology at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in 2012 to 2016. Upon her return she taught theological curses in both postulate and Novitiate in Nigerian for one year. In 2020, Sr. Esther accepted a mission call to Kenya where she currently works as Postulant Directress and coordinator of Sisters in Initial commitment at the Sisters of Notre Dame in Kenya. With openness and generosity, Sr. Esther says that the journey so far has not been easy, but it has been inspiring, interesting, enriching, transforming and challenging. She comes from a typical Muslim background where embracing religious life is regarded as counter cultural. Amidst the current situation in Nigeria, she added, the witnessing to the gospel values remains very important. She attributes all to the good God for his love, compassion and companion on the journey and prays that our God who began this work in her will bring it to perfection.