Grateful to God and to the newly ordained deacons for their prayers and gifts to the Society of Jesus

Ordinations at the Jesuit school of theology in Nairobi are always vibrant, pulsating with life and energy. Jesuits, friends, families, and partners in mission from across Africa and Madagascar and beyond take time off their busy schedules to celebrate candidates of the diaconate and priestly ordination. This year it was no different. On Saturday, February 22, 2020, many came to join in the celebration and to witness a new journey.

24 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.

Those gathered burst into song and dance in celebration of the ordinands as they got called out by name by the rector of Hekima University College Fr Deogratius Rwezaura SJ, and presented to the Bishop by the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM) president Fr Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator SJ.

The first reading was from the Gospel of Luke when Jesus called the First Disciples. In this story, the fishermen were astonished by the miracle performed by Jesus recognizing God’s presence. Jesus called the common fishermen, telling them to leave everything and follow Him and become disciples “Fishers of Men”.

The Ordaining Prelate, Rt. Rev. David Kamau, Auxiliary Bishop of Archdiocese of Nairobi, Kenya in his Homily echoed the significance of the “call” by God sighting examples of Abraham, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Moses among others. Rev. Kamau reminded all gathered to be thankful for vocations, stating that Christ himself said that “…the harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few…” Therefore when we get labourers in the work of God we praise Him.


The hope of the Church Rev. Kamau spoke about the work of evangelization, saying that these men represent the hope of the church, and this hope is by continuing the important work begun by our ancestors in faith. He also said, “when you see the old guards, you must know the church has been there”. Urging the ordinands not to get carried away by re-inventing the wheel rather, build on the work that was started, what is already there; the mission.


The Call The Archbishop extensively explored the meaning of the “call”. He stated that the call in both the old and new testament have commonality. He stated that it is God who calls, that the initiative comes from above, therefore vocation or the call is a gift, and there is no room for pride as it is from God. He mentioned that in every call there is a response. When called by God one must respond because the call comes in a way that elicits a response. Lastly, God calls for a mission. One is not called to just feel good or to enjoy, because a call is never easy. For instance, Abraham was called to be the father of many nations, yet, when called he was asked for something. God asked him to sacrifice his only son, a test of Faith. So, when one is called there is a sacrifice, a mission, responsibility and duty to fulfill, and only in fulfilling this duty and mission can then one be happy.

In concluding his Homily, he stated that the mission for these men is to “go out”. To be missionaries and only then can they be happy.

As the rite of ordination begun, the 24 ordinands received 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.

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 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.