Fr Piet van Heijst celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a priest at St John the Baptist Catholic Church New-Kaloko in Ndola on August 27. The celebration took place in a joyful atmosphere led by the Parish-Priest Fr Francis Scszurek assisted by Fr Didasio Mwanza and the entire church council. A number of delegations came from various parishes and institutions as well as Dominicans and Child Jesus Sisters. The Vicar General, Fr Paul Simukanzi represented Bishop Justin Mulenga of Mpika. Fr van Heijst has been working in his diocese for the past 40 years.
Friends came from Chilonga, Mpika, Serenje and from Twatasha and Kawama in Kitwe. In his preaching, Fr Camille Konkobo highlighted the joy felt by the Jubilerian, a priest dedicated to the people and the sick who loves the Zambian. Christian families and small Christian Communities were encouraged to promote vocations in the Church.
Recently, Fr van Heijst has been the chaplain of Ndola General Hospital while helping the Parish-Priest.
He is a dedicated and hardworking Missionary of Africa. In the thanksgiving Mass, 50 candles were lit as a symbol of faith in all the places where Fr van Heijst worked. It was very touchy and emotional, a great moment of prayer. After Mass, a group of women made a sketch depicting the call to priesthood.
We wish you many more years in your ministry and may you continue being a model, a pastor, an image of Christ to the people you are sent to. Happy ministry and keep your beautiful smiling face always!
Camille Konkobo, M.Afr, Vocation Director for Zambia based at Kolibo Vocation Centre, Serenje, Zambia.