At priests’ ordination, Christ gives them a new, indelible identity and calls them to focus all their efforts on serving God’s people — who are the Church’s treasure — through charity, God’s word and the sacraments, said Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa of Blantyre Archdiocese at the July 16th ordination of eight deacons to the priesthood at the Limbe Cathedral.
Chosen for priesthood through the Lord’s brotherly love, priests receive that brotherly love from other priests and the people they serve he told the ordained priests — along with more than 5,000 in attendance.
Eight deacons were ordained for the archdiocese :Daniel Kambalame from Nkhwai Parish in Chiradzulu,Foster Matope from Namulenga Parish in Mulanje and Davison Salamba from Adorolata-Thyolo Parish in Thyolo.
The other five are Spiritans deacons are James Balala from Ntenje Parish in Blantyre, Damiano Gabriel and Edward Tembo both from Thunga Parish in Thyolo, William Kalande from Ndirande Parish in Blantyre and Lucius Zuze from Chipini Parish in Zomba.
Drawing from Pope Francis’ teaching, the archbishop challenged the ordinands to leave their offices and “go out to the peripheries” with their flocks to experience God’s mercy.
“There’s no better way to conform our lives to the mystery of the Lord’s cross than by accompanying our brothers and sisters in the day-to-day and real challenges of life, the challenges that lead them and lead us to Calvary,” he said. “It’s there that Christ waits for us, much as he waits for us in the tabernacle.”
Following the Gospel in which Jesus asks Peter to feed his sheep, the archbishop called forward the ordinands , whether they were ready to be ordained.
Following the archbishop’s homily, the ordinands promised to imitate Christ and to respect and obey the archbishop.
Newly-ordained Father William Kalande, said of Archbishop Msusa before the ordination, “I want to do what the Lord’s will is, and it’s going to be made known to me through him,” he said. “I’m so happy to have him as an example. He’s easy to follow . . . a good man with vision and incredible intelligence. Doing what Jesus wants me to do sometimes will be tough, but it will always be joyful.”
Later in the ordination rite, more than 50 priests from within and outside the archdiocese followed the archbishop by praying for the ordinands in the laying on of hands, an ancient symbol signifying the candidates’ incorporation into the presbyterate.
Though they did not lay on hands, dozens of deacons and seminarians also were present at the ordination.
At the close of the ordination rite, the new priests turned their stoles from side to center, indicating priesthood and put on for the first time gold-embroidered chasubles. The Archbishop anointed each priest’s palms with holy chrism oil.
During the ordination, both child and adult Cathedral choristers sang hymns including the famous, “ Ambuye zikomo munandiyitana mwana wanga iwe uzakhale wansembe.
Near the end of the ordination rite, representatives of five orders of women religious presented the gifts.
“To have eight priests ordained the same day in the same church, that’s more than hope, it’s really faith,” said Archbishop Msusa.
The archbishop also gave his newly ordained priests their first parish assignments as parochial vicars.
For instance, Father Daniel Kambalame will serve at St Alumando Parish in Neno, while Fr. Foster Matope will serve at Mwanza Parish. Fr. Davison Salamba will go to St Pius XII seminary.
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