By Serge St-Arneault, M.Afr. Director of the Afrika Centre, Montreal.
On May 27, 2017, I was privileged to take part of the priestly ordination of 14 new priests, among them some Jesuits and Capuchins together with diocesan priests. Two thousands Christians gathered inside the Cathedral of Child Jesus in Lusaka vibrated along the beautiful liturgy by expressing its joy, especially when the names of all those ‘handsome’ young men, according to one of the speakers, were announced.
It happened on the day before my final departure from Zambia. I took off again from Lilongwe on Wednesday to arrive in Montreal on June 1 at noon time. By then, I was very far away from Africa where I lived 25 out of my last 30 years of life.
I went home, meaning to my mothers’ place, after few days at St-Hubert Street where I will be stationed by August 1 as Director of the Afrika Centre. Though still on holiday, I wanted to come back to Montreal yesterday to be present this morning to the priestly ordination of a Cameroonian into the Archdiocese of Montreal. Reverent Claude Ngodji was ordained by Mgr. Christian Lépine in a church dedicated to Our Lady of Africa.
This Catholic Mission is celebrating its 4th year of existence. This community brings together Africans from all over French Speaking African countries who have settled all over Montreal Island. Four major trends make this community special: fraternal gathering, meaningful liturgy, education into faith and opening to a changing world.
I am grateful to witness such great moments into the life of the Church. Free, I went to Africa at the age of 26 in 1981, I feel also free to come back to my mother land today. My joy is to see that Africa is no longer a remote and unknown far distant land but very much present in Montreal with its vibrant faith and hope.
See also the translation into French:
Recevez mes salutations de Jérusalem. Je viens par ce présent mail vous faire part de mon ordination presbytérale qui aura lieu le 1er Juillet prochain au Burkina Faso. Bonne fête de Pentecôte!
Greetings from Jerusalem. I wish to share with you the news about my priestly ordination which will take place on July 1 in Burkina Faso. Happy Pentecost Feast!
Hervé TOUGMA, Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers), St Anne’s Church P.O. Box 19079, 19 Lions’ Gate Street (near Lions’ Gate), 91190 Jerusalem (Old City)
Let us pray for Michael Mapulanga, Harrison Banda and Simon Mphana, O.M.I. who will be ordained this coming Saturday, January 28 in South Africa. Micheal and Harrison are Zambian who have joint the diocesan clergy in the Archdiocese of Bloemfontein. They will be ordained by Right Reverend Archbishop Jabulani Adatus Nxumalo OMI.
My ordination was on 15th December 2016 at St. Walburg church, Nyangao Parish, by Bishop Bruno Pius Ngonyani of Lindi diocese, Tanzania. About 19 confreres and students came to support me with two MSOLA Sisters. Thanks for your presence. They were led by Bartholomew Mrosso, Provincial Delegate for Tanzania together with Hugh Seenan from Mozambique, Faustin Kerumbe and Deogratias Ngowi from South Africa and my brother Lawrence Tukamushaba from Zambia. His family in Uganda took care of me during my studies there.
I also got support from 25 diocesan priests. Among them were my five senior priests from Nyangao parish namely Fr. Achiula, Fr. Chijinga, Fr. Hokororo, Fr. Mpiri and Fr. Nkane, O.S.B. We are now six priests from Nyangao Parish. Other priests came from Ndanda Abbey and many more from various local congregation of Sisters.
A Thanksgiving Mass was celebrated at the church of St. Walburg on 18th December followed by a large gathering.
I would like to give thanks to God and all the people who have helped me in one way or the other to respond YES to God’s call.
I want to thank you all for your support in various ways during the preparations and after my ordination to the priesthood. Everything went on very well because of your support, both spiritually and financially.
I am so grateful to my Parish Priest, Fr. Peter Tembo, and to all the parishioners of St. Monica – Lukanga of Kabwe Diocese who sacrificed their time and money to ensure that my ordination be a success. Indeed it was a beautiful celebration. I am grateful to my siblings and to Fr. Isaac Mbewe who have always supported me since the first day of my initial formation, you are such a blessing to me.
It has been a blessing for me and for my entire family to have had Didasio Mwanza involved in the ordination preparations. The days and nights he spent in my family before the ordination will never be forgotten, they meant a lot to me and to my family. May the good Lord keep blessing you abundantly!
Looking at the people who came from different parts of Zambia, from Congo, and from Malawi, and also looking at my confreres who, regardless of their tight programs like the Post-Capitular meeting but managed to come and participate and witness to my ordination, I have no reason why I should not carry you all in my prayers and ask the good Lord to guide and protect. Thank you very much.
On the 19th November, the Diocese of Kabwe celebrated the closing of the Jubilee Year of Mercy and the priestly ordination of Father Robbin Simbeye, M.Afr. The celebration was colourful and joyful in a crowded church. Sixty priests, among them seventeen Missionaries of Africa, were present.
This ordination was quite appropriate for the closing of the Year of Mercy as Bishop Clement Mulenga, SDB, emphasised on the attitude of all priests to be merciful. He encouraged them to collaborate and seek advice unceasingly.
The Provincial, Felix Phiri, M.Afr, thanked the Bishop and his clergy for this timely feast within the diocesan calendar. He also thanked the parishioners of St. Monica and sent Robbin officially to his mission in Tunisia. He then invited all the M.Afr present to come around him for a solemn blessing by singing the Sancta Maria.
The first Mass took place at the same parish the following day. The church was vibrating from the beginning till the end. The family members of our newly ordained priest were full of joy and we could see it on their faces. It was a bright and appropriate time for missionary awareness. At the end of Mass, the Vocation Director, Camille Konkobo, made an appeal for more vocations.
Robbin Simbeye studied philosophy in Arusha, Tanzania, made his spiritual year at Bobo Dioulasso in Burkina Faso, his apostolic training of two years in Rwanda and his theology at our Formation House in Merrivale, South Africa.
Let us unite our voices and prayers for his mission and for the parents of Father Simbeye.
My ordination to the priesthood took place on 29th July 2016 at Holy Family church, Gekano Parish in Kisii Diocese in the western part of Kenya. I was ordained by my Bishop, Joseph Mairura. Many Christians travelled from near and far to witness my ordination and to celebrate with me and my family this joyful occasion. Among those who attended were: religious sisters and brothers from within and outside the diocese, diocesan clergy, East African Provincial and other Missionaries of Africa from the Sector of Kenya accompanied by members of Lavigerie Family (a lay associate group), a delegation from Zambia led by Mama Grace Shawa of Regiment Parish, and Nyamira County Government officials led by His Excellency the Governor, John Nyagarama.
In his homily, Bishop Mairura talked passionately about the tremendous missionary work the Missionaries of Africa have done and continue to do in the continent of Africa. He expressed his joy that one of his own sons from the diocese of Kisii has responded to the call of missionary life.
The entire ordination celebration was a very touching experience in my life, one that will remain indelible in my heart and mind. I am very much grateful to God who has called me to his vineyard, and to my family, friends and parishioners of Gekano Parish for having supported my answer to the missionary call, and above all, to the entire fraternity of the Missionaries of Africa and all those who contributed in one way or the other towards the success of my ordination. To Him be glory for ever and ever!
Ordained on Saturday 20/8/2016 by the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, His Excellency Most Rev. Jean-Marie Speich, at Christ the King Parish, Sandema, Fr Mathew W. Banseh, M.Afr led us to the altar of the Lord as he presided for the first time over the Eucharistic celebration at Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Minor Basilica, Navrongo on Sunday 21/8/2016. May you shine in the Lord’s vineyard!
Fr Banseh has been appointed to the parish of Lumimba, Zambia.
Dear my Confreres, families and friends of the Missionaries of Africa. My heart is full of joy and gratitude for the graces and blessings that the Almighty God has showered on me in this month of August. I am really grateful to God for choosing me, consecrating me and sending me into his vineyard as His humble servant. I acknowledge that the ordination I received on 4th August was not as a result of my own merits but as a result of God’s own grace and mercy towards the sinners. It is for that reason that I salute Him. Many thanks go to all of you my confreres for the support you gave me before, during and after my ordination. I really feel that I belong to a caring family of Cardinal Lavigerie. With my heart full of joy, am very grateful to my confreres in the community of Ndola (Piet van Heijst, Franciszek Szczurek and Didasio Mwanza) for their love, care, support and encouragements. During my three months stay in this community, I have really experienced true brotherhood and I have learnt how to be at the service.
The Society of the Missionaries of Africa and the Family of Mr. Barnabas Ogato and Mrs. Prisca Moraa is pleased to invite you to the Priestly ordination of their son Rev. Deacon Douglas Momanyi Ogato on the 29th July 2016 at Kisii town parish by his Lordship Joseph Mairura Okemwa, Bishop of Kisii Diocese.
Fr. John Aserbire, Assistant Provincial, EAP (On behalf of the Provincial Secretary EAP)
The parish of Mary Immaculate – Chibuluma and the Chimenge’s family, cordially invites you to the priestly ordination of Rev. Sylvester Chimenge, M.Afr on 4th August 2016 at 09:30, by Rt. Rev. Alick Banda, bishop of Ndola diocese at Christ the King Cathedral in Ndola.
First Mass: 7th August 2016, at St. Mary Immaculate parish – Chibuluma.
Thanksgiving Mass: 14th August 2016, at Martyrs of Uganda – Chikumbi parish.
“YOUR WORD IS A LAMP FOR MY FEET AND A LIGHT FOR MY PATH” Ps. 119: 105
On 6th August, the Church commemorated the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ. On this very day, the Catholic Church of Ndola Diocese elected eight deacons to the order of Melkisedek, among them our brother John Mubanga. The colourful ceremony was held at the Cathedral presided by Rt. Rev. Dr. Alick Banda, Bishop of Ndola, and concelebrated by Bishop Kasonde of Solwezi Diocese. Many priests, Religious Sisters and Brothers and seminarians were present together with the Missionaries of Africa. The liturgical celebration was magnanimous even though it was held on a working day.
In his sermon, Bishop Banda emphasized on three things which are important for one to be a good priest namely to serve God’s people by remaining in communion with the Lord, to be men of prayer and, finally, the need to meditate the Word of God.
According to the Bishop, the ordination was an “affirmation of God’s love for us” as He did to our Lord Jesus Christ at the Transfiguration.
The First Mass was held on the 9th August at St Mary’s Parish, Twatasha, in Kitwe which is the home parish of the newly ordained. Started at 10:30, the Mass ended at 15:30. The celebration was “wonderful,” with lots of joy, dancing and singing. Family members from various Churches joined in to witness the First Mass of their son. The church was packed, in and out. We were 15 M.Afr and 2 M.S.O.L.A. and few M.Afr students. There were also some other Religious who attended the thanksgiving Mass.
We wish God’s blessings on Fr. John Mubanga as he begins his mission in God’s vineyard.
My priestly ordination took place on the 8th August and thanksgiving Mass on 9th in Muko Parish, Rushekye Muko village, Kabale Diocese Uganda. I was ordained to the order of priesthood together with a diocesan deacon and four other candidates from neighbouring parishes who were ordained deacons. The ordination ceremony was attended by 78 priests including Missionaries of Africa and many Religious. Some politicians were also present such as the Hon Minister Henry Banyenzaki. Some people have described it as an “international ordination”.
I thank each and every person who supported me in my journey. May God bless you all.
Below are some photos taken at my first Mass on Sunday 09/08/2015.
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
The Missionaries of Africa, St. Mary’s Parish, Mr and Mrs Mukuka’s family and relatives are inviting us to the Priestly Ordination of their son Deacon Humphrey Mukuka on 27th June 2015 at 9 hours at St. Veronica’s Parish (Kamushanga) Kabwe by his Lordship Clement Mulenga (S.D.B), the Bishop of Kabwe Diocese, Zambia.
The Missionaries of Africa, Mr and Mrs Mubanga and the intire community of St. Mary’s Catholic Church at Twatasha, Kitwe, are inviting us to the Priestly Ordination of Deacon John Chomba Mubanga by his Lordship Alick Banda, Bishop of Ndola Diocese on the 8th August at Christ the King Cathedral in Ndola at 9:00 hours.