By Amony Immaculate
Over the weekend, Lira Catholic Diocese was blessed with six new priests and a deacon.
The early morning downpour till late afternoon did not stop the colorful ceremony of ordination from taking place.
With unending hymns of praises being sung by the Angelic choir from Amuca zone, the six deacons who became priests and a seminarian who became a deacon walked majestically through the rain in a procession to secure their seats under a tent before being invited by the Lord Bishop to the alter from where they made their vows.
Bishop Emeritus Rt. Rev Joseph Franzeli called on the new ministers to serve the Lord diligently.
“Many young men of your age have chosen other careers hoping to be successful engineers, teachers, doctors, businessmen and so on. Your job and career is different: the one who will be more successful among you is the one who will be more able to serve and sacrifice his life every day out of love for God and his people.” he said.
The previous Sunday, as the deacons were doing their retreat preparing for the ordination the church celebrated the third world day of the poor. By this celebration, Pope Francis reechoed that the church itself is meant to be and become more and more a church which is poor and for the poor.
“The devil enters the church through the pockets. Do not fall into this sweet trap. You are not ordained to become rich but to share whatever you have and the very life with the children of God especially the poor, weak, marginalized and vulnerable ones.” Bishop Franzeli warned.
When they take their vows, Catholic priests make two promises: to be celibate and to obey. They are expected to lead simple lives.
Earlier on in his preaching, Rt. Rev Sanctus Lino Wanok, the Bishop of Lira Diocese who presided over the ordination called on the ministers to be men of good reputation filled with wisdom and the Holy Spirit.
“You’re called to share in the priesthood of the Bishops. By consecration priests and deacons will preach the gospel, sustain God’s people and celebrate the liturgy, above all the Lord’s sacrifice- this is your duty not any other.” He said.
“Do the will of God generously, serve God and mankind in love and joy. Look upon all and chastity as others and as the worship of false God’s for no man can serve two masters.”
Adding that “Like the apostles chose the works of charity, show before God and mankind that you’re above every suspicion. This is very common today and please be attentive to this, you must be above all suspicion and be a true minister of Christ.”
Just like the Catholic doctrine says, Bishop emphasized the importance of maintaining a celibate life saying a man cannot serve two masters.
“By your own free choice, you seek to enter the order of deacon you shall exercise this ministry in the celibate state for celibacy is both a sign and a motive of pastoral charity and a special source of spiritual fruitfulness in the world.”
“By living in this state with total dedication moved by sincere love for Christ the Lord, you are consecrated to him in a new and special way and by this consecration, you will appear more easily to Christ with an undivided heart. You will be more freely at the service of God and mankind.”
He also called on the entire Christian community within and outside the diocese to accompany the new priests and deacons in their journey of faith saying the mission that the good Shepherd is entrusting to them is a difficult one.
On the other hand, Rev Fr Desiderius Pule Olima, the Vicar General of Lira Diocese explained that Ordination, unlike graduation, for example, is not something that someone achieves but rather, one is called to ordination.
He went ahead to advise the candidates to keep their relationship with Jesus strong and they will make good ministers.
The new ministers include Seminarian Stephen Odwongo from Lira Cathedral parish who became a deacon.
Deacon Denis Omara from Lira Cathedral, deacon Boniface Aruku from Aduku Catholic parish, Deacon Jimmy Ojede from Apac parish, deacon Moses Pascal Omara from Teboke parish, deacon Jacon Raymond Komakech from Aboke and deacon Douglas Owera from Teboke parish were all ordained to become priests.
Currently, Lira Catholic Diocese has Close to 70 diocesan priests. End