On Saturday 26th June, the Southern African Province (SAP), most especially the Sector of Mozambique was blessed with the priestly ordination of our confrere Dago do Rosário Estima. The journey has been long but finally the light has shined, God made it possible. His time is always the best. Our joy has been complete. What we wished our brother on the day of his first mass, is to treasure, care and keep safe the great gift received in jars of clay (2 Cor 2:7) till the day he will go to return it to the Owner. Within the period of two years, Mozambique has given to the Society and the Church at large three priests.
The journey has been long for Mozambique as a sector, but also for our newly ordained confrere. However, God made it possible. Meant to be the second Mozambican confrere, Dago ended up being the fourth. During the fourth phase of formation, Dago paused for two years before going back to finish his theological studies. It was a special moment but when God calls, He knows how to guide, to strengthen and lead us through. Dago made good use of the two years of time out as a teacher in a private school, after which he went back for the last year of his formation in Nairobi. After his theological studies, Dago returned to Mozambique where he took his Missionary Oath and got ordained as a deacon. The Oath took place in the Sector House of Inhamizua (Beira), while the ordination itself took place in his home parish (Dondo Parish), during the priestly ordination of Timóteo Cheiro, the first confrere from this new generation.
After his diaconate ordination, Dago was appointed to Nigeria which is part of Ghana-Nigeria Province where he rendered his diaconate service. After his diaconal service, he was Called for his priestly ordination which brought together all the confreres within the Sector. After which we negotiated with Archbishop Dom Cláudio Dalla Zuanna of Beira Archdiocese to fix the date of the long-awaited event. At the beginning, looking at the schedule in our communities and parishes, as well as the situation of covid-19 pandemic, the confreres agreed to have the ordination in July. However, the Archbishop suggested 26th June since his program for July was too tight.
We believed and trusted in God’s providence as we planned for Dago’s ordination, and surely, we witnessed His providence. With the covid-19 pandemic situation, the president of Mozambique announced a situation of calamity in the country, hence restricting the number of participants for any Eucharistic celebration to at most hundred and fifty (150). It is with this number in mind that we had prepared for the ceremony. However, on the 24th June, the president restricted the number further to forty (40) due to the worsening nature of the pandemic. How could we have managed a priestly ordination with only forty people? God has made it possible and we were lucky since the new directives were only effective from 26th June at midnight. The date suggested by the bishop, which at the beginning seemed not to satisfy the majority, ended up miraculously being something positive which solved our concerns. The confreres gathered together with their brother Dago, as he received the great gift of priesthood on Saturday. The following day, which was a Sunday, Dago presided over his first mass. For each of the two celebrations, we managed with the permission of the authorities to welcome about hundred-fifty people while respecting the covid-19 regulations and measures.
No matter how long the night might be, the daylight will always show up. Indeed, after twelve good years walking humbly with the Lord to discern His project and will, Dago was ordained priest Missionary of Africa, for and in the Church. At the end of the celebration, after thanking the ordaining Archbishop of Beira, Most Rev. Dom Cláudio, and the parishioners, the Provincial Delegate, Rev. Fr. Raphaël Gasimba (M.Afr.) announced that the newly ordained confrere has been appointed to Nigeria where he was as deacon to continue with the work he has already started. We pray that Dago may find joy and fulfilment in his ministry as priest in the footsteps of Christ.
By: Hervé Tougma, M.Afr.