The process to become a Jesuit can be arduous given the long time, from entering the order to final vows. On Saturday, February 22, 2020, a Diaconate and Priestly ordination took place in Nairobi. Jesuits, partners in mission, collaborators, family and friends, joined multitudes of people to celebrate and witness a new journey for 22 men. These men have been undertaking Theology studies at the Jesuit School of Theology, Hekima University College in Nairobi.
The focus of Jesuit formation is to prepare priests and brothers who are well-educated, trained in the Spiritual Exercises and have the skills to minister in a diverse and ever-changing environment. Theology studies prepare Jesuits for the service of faith. During Theology studies, a scholastic is ordained as a deacon and after completing theology studies, he is ordained to the priesthood, marking the end of about a decade of study and preparation and making him available for his first assignment as a Jesuit priest.
21 Jesuits were joined by one Carmelite of Mary Immaculate (CMI) in a celebration that marked a new journey, a new beginning, a new mission. The well-animated Eucharistic celebration began at 10 am (local time), as planned.
The JCAM President, Rev. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator SJ, was present to celebrate the ordinands' new service to the Church.
The Ordaining Prelate, Rt. Rev. David Kamau, Auxiliary Bishop of Archidiocese of Nairobi (Kenya) invited the 22 ordinandus to receive the first of the three major Orders of the Catholic Church. The prelate iterated the ministry of the deacon as one of service in three areas: the Word, the Liturgy, and Charity. Our brothers, the new deacons will exercise their new role to the Hekima community through the ministry of the Word by proclaiming the Gospel, preaching and teaching at Mass.
Being ordained to the diaconate for Jesuits is a key part of formation that is required prior to priestly ordination. In the next few months, as part of their formation, some will proceed for pastoral work while others will undertake the second cycle of studies, the new deacons will continue to gain pastoral experience over the next few months before being ordained to the Catholic priesthood. Roman Catholic deacons are ordained to assist the Bishop and his Presbyterate as ministers of the word, of the altar, and of charity. They can proclaim the Word of God, preach and preside at the sacraments of baptism and marriage and at the rite of Christian burial.
Congratulations to the new Deacons and a Priest, we pray to Mary our Mother to intercede for them as they partake in the mission of Christ and the service of the Church.