Participating in Paul Kitha’s priestly ordination was something very significant for me. Being with Paul since 2010 in West Africa, it’s very wonderful to witness to his priestly ordination that took place on first August 2015 in Karonga Diocese in Malawi. I was personally ordained priest on 27th June 2015 in Kabwe, Zambia where Paul Kitha equally participated and served as a Deacon. This was immediately after finishing our theological studies in Abidjan where we spent three years together. I was very grateful to him because he sacrificed his precious time of holidays. In fact, before my priestly ordination, Paul and I had an eight days retreat together in St. Bonaventure in Lusaka.
Paul’s priestly ordination was very well prepared and it was a very beautiful celebration. Many parishes were well represented and a lot of family members and friends came from different parts of the country. Oh! It was so lovely to see various groups dancing the same song but each respecting his or her particular dance. For instance, the Ngoni dance really impressed me.
His Lordship Martin A. Mtumbuka, Bishop of Karonga Diocese, encouraged priests to be the men of prayer for we are called to holiness. He continued by saying that if we are not praying, we cannot call others to holiness. Hence, he said we are called to live our prayer life every day because we are not “robots”.
The first Mass for Fr. Paul took place at his home parish, St. Steven in Karonga. It was lovely also to see how friends and parents who saw Paul growing as a little boy. In his speech, Fr. Paul’s elder brother said that “from now onwards, I will not call you my young brother instead, you are now my father”. This shows how much people were very happy to have Fr. Paul and to witness to his First Mass in his home village. Fr. Paul is the third Catholic Priest from his home parish, St. Steven.
I was very much impressed by the good number of confreres, the Missionaries of Africa, candidates and the MSOLA sisters at the ordination and the First Mass celebrations. For this reason, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone for the support rendered to Fr. Paul and to his family. Let us keep supporting one another for the spread of the kingdom of God as we strive to be missionaries identified with prayer, love and service. In addition, let us remember to keep supporting Fr. Paul in his new ministry so that he may be guided by the Holy Spirit and be of service to others where ever he is.
Fr. Humphrey Mukuka, M.Afr