Anastasia Makunu | JCAM Communications Officer
On Saturday, March 2, 2019, Jesuits, friends, and families gathered at the Hekima Gardens in Nairobi’s Hekima University College to witness the ordination of 21 deacons and one priest. 18 Jesuits were joined by four Carmelites 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.
Among the 21 deacons ordained these are the Jesuits from across Africa: Christian Okeke SJ (Nigeria, ANW Province), Collins Chimezie Obidiagha SJ (Nigeria, ANW Province), DidmusDidasi Shirima SJ (Tanzania, AOR Province), Edson Hambayi SJ (Zambia, ZAM Province), Jean de Dieu Habarugira SJ (Rwanda, RWB Region), Fabrice Kameni SJ (Cameroon, AOC), Godfrey Dlamini SJ (South Africa, SAF Region), Ihezie Martin Ejike SJ (Nigeria, ANW Province), Musiitwa Jean Baptiste SJ, Fulgence N. Ntieni SJ (DR Congo, ACE Province), Reginald Tochi Nwakolobi SJ (Nigeria, ANW Province), Jeremie H. Kinzamba SJ (DR Congo, ACE Province), Ranaivosolofo Ravo Noel SJ (Madagascar, MDG Province), Ranoarivony Tanteliniaina Edson SJ (Madagascar, MDG Province), Rarivoson F. Amedee SJ (Madagascar, MDG Province), Taban Patrick Constantino SJ (South Sudan, AOR), Vincent Tilimboyi Nchimunya SJ (Zambia, ZAM Province), Temple Anuforo SJ.
The JESAM President, Rev. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator SJ, was present to celebrate the ordinands' new service to the Church.
The Ordaining Prelate, Rt. Rev. Virgilio Pante, IMC (Bishop of Maralal Diocese in 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.
We are deeply grateful to God and to the newly ordained deacons for their prayers and gifts to the Society of Jesus. We are grateful to those who in one way or the other, have accompanied and helped our companions to reach this stage of formation.
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More images below: (by Anastasia Makunu | JCAM Communications)
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