Hekima Diaconate Ordination 2017
Twenty three (23) Jesuits were ordained deacons on Saturday 25 February, 2017. The event took place at Hekima Jesuit Community in Nairobi. They were joined by three Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI) and one Vincentian (VC). The twenty three (23) ordained Jesuit deacons come from all the Seven (7) Provinces and the Rwanda-Burundi Region of the African Assistancy.
The presiding prelate was Most Rev. Bafuidinsoni Maloko-Mana, SJ, the Auxiliary Bishop of Kinshasa (DRC). In his homily, he exhorted the deacons to always remember that it is “the Lord, God who chooses and sends them to be prophets of our time”. He also reminded them to lead a life of service characterised by love. That is, promoting justice, reconciliation, and peace.
As Jesuits, ordination to the diaconate is a key part of formation that is required prior to priestly ordination.
As part of their formation, for the next few months some will proceed for pastoral work while others will undertake second cycle of studies, the new deacons will continue to gain pastoral experience over the next few months before being ordained to the Catholic priesthood. Roman Catholic deacons are ordained to assist the Bishop and his Presbyterate as ministers of the word, of the altar, and of charity. They can proclaim the Word of God, preach and preside at the sacraments of baptism and marriage and at the rite of Christian burial.
Each of them, in his own way, embodies the magis and Pope Francis’ invitation to cooperate “with God in the service of the Kingdom of mercy and truth, of justice and peace”. We at Hekima Jesuit Community are deeply grateful to God and to the newly ordained deacons for their prayers and gifts to the Society of Jesus. We are grateful to those who in one way or the other, have accompanied and helped our companions to reach this stage of formation. At the end of the diaconate ordination celebrations, the Rector, Fr. John Ghansah, SJ gave a word of gratitude to God who by his blessings showed us his merciful love by allowing us to celebrate this day here at our home compound. He went on to thank all who had made the day a great success.
It was a very exciting moment for the Jesuits in the African Assistancy (Conference) and the Universal Society of Jesus. We all felt renewed by this graceful event.
To learn more about Jesuit vocations and formation, please visit www.easternafricajesuits.org
Prepared by Frederick Meela, SJ
For the Hekima Jesuit Community Correspondence Team.