St. Joseph’s Parish church was packed on Saturday morning to celebrate the Oath and Diaconate of six Missionaries of Africa students. The broadcast was pretty grim with rain but gave way to a mix cloudy and sunny day though hailstones fell heavily at the end of the day. With them, two Sacred Heart candidates from DRCongo were also ordained Deacons together with eleven M.Afr students who received the ministry of Acolyte.
Were also present our Superior General, Stan Lubungo, our Provincial, Felix Phiri, Neil Frank , President of St. Joseph’s Theological Institute and Bishop Emmanuel Kerketta of the Diocese of Jashpur in India. The main celebrant was our confrere Bishop Jan De Groef. Many other priests, religious and relatives or friends were present at this joyful feast sang in various languages; English, French, Ndebele, Kiswahili, Kinyarwanda, IsiZulu, Lingala and Latin.
Refreshments were offered after Mass in the parish hall and a meal in our formation Centre in Merrivale, about fifteen minutes away by car from the church.
Brief presentation of the new Deacons.
Born in 1984, Alfred Nkundimana is Rwandese. He began his preparatory year in Burundi. He was then sent for three years of philosophical studies in Bukavu, DRCongo. He made his spiritual year in Burkina Faso and was sent in South Africa for his pastoral experience. He is a qualified nurse. He joined Merrivale in 2014.
Born in 1986, Daniel Iraguha is Rwandese. He began his formation with the M.Afr in Burundi from where he went to Bukavu in the DRCongo for three years of philosophical studies. He then went to Burkina Faso for his Spiritual Year and made his stage in Gao, Mali.
Amorain Wayikpo (Kwami) is Togolese and was born in 1981. After completing his studies in geography, he began his philosophical studies in 2007 in Ouagadougou and then went for his spiritual year in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. In 2011, he was sent to Rwanda for his two years pastoral experience. He joined Merrivale community in 2014.
Born in 1980, Anthony Wie Batieka is Ghanean. After a few months of preparation in Nigeria, he did his philosophical studies in Ghana. In 2010, he was sent for spiritual year in Burkina Faso. He then went to Burundi for his pastoral experience.
Erick Balderas Vega is Mexican and was born in 1981. After studying philosophy in a diocesan seminary, he spent two years in our house of formation in Mexico. He was then sent to Zambia for his spiritual year and his pastoral experience which he made in Kabwata Parish in Lusaka.
Theophile Pegwedewende Sam is Burkinabe, born in 1984. He did his philosophical studies in Ouagadougou and his spiritual year in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. In 2011, he was sent for pastoral experience in Uganda and, after two years of pastoral experience, he joined our house of formation in Merrivale.
 Three M.Afr originate from his Diocese: Filiyanus Ekka, Erus Kishor Tirkey and Anand Kujur. Bishop Kerketta is very proud of it.
Also the following students received the ministry of acolyte: Philippe Dakono (Malian), Christopher Nkandu (Zambian), Martin Somda (Burkinabe), Victor Sanou (Burkinabe), Éric Kambale (Congolese), Ryan Contamina (Filipino), Silas Nsabimana (Burundian), Robert Ouedraogo (Burkinabe), Dominic Shiby (Indian), Francis Eze (Nigerian) and Pierre Chanel Ulama (Congolese).