On the 1st of May, seven of our brothers were sacramentally raised to the order of deacon at the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare, Rome. The ordination prelate was S. Em. R. Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, the Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education. At exactly 11:28am our dearest brothers became the newest deacons of the Catholic Church through the imposition of hands and the consecratory prayer. And they include: Giovanni, Roderich Lonzaga Teriote (Philippines), Akira Kirishima (Japan), Richard Andrew Stonier (South Africa), Anu Raj (India), Jerome Gerald Mkindi (Tanzania), and Christian Mpalasinge Kapaya (Tanzania).
The holy mass that began at exactly 10:30 in the morning witnessed the presence of the Archbishop of Tabora in Tanzania, priests, deacons, religious, seminarians and the lay people of God. They all gathered from far and wide to join in giving testimony and praising God for the gift of vocation. Among the people present for the ordination mass were the present and formal rectors of our college, Sedes Sapientiae, the rector of our university, Santa Croce, our formators & spiritual directors, our university professors and friends & well-wishers. Also were present a good number of alumni.
After the rite of the presentation and the acceptance of the candidates for the diaconate already into the mass, the cardinal prefect proceeded with the homily. He reminded all present that vocation is a sign of love from God and enjoined the candidates to always remember and remain in this love of God extending it to others. He continued by pointing out that in the self-donation of love, we configure ourselves into the image of Christ. Hence, their configuration in Christ is not to be served but to serve, accepting and listening patiently to the people of God while avoiding rash judgments. Addressing the candidates for the diaconate ordination, he pointed out that their homilies should not be more philosophical than evangelical and that they should try to know their faithful. At the end of the homily, he encouraged all present to accompany our brothers in prayers.
The mass came to an end at 12:14 in the afternoon and the newly ordained deacons had a group photograph at the frontage of the Basilica while we proceeded afterwards for a light refreshment.
The second phase of the program continued in our college with a fraternal lunch. And the event saw its conclusion in our grand sitting room where the event was punctuated with some presentations from Africa, Asia and American continents. One of the newly ordained deacons gave some words of gratitude for the auspices they have received through out these years of formation especially to the Almighty God.
Our Rector brought the joyous event to a closure with a prayer for vocation to the sacred priesthood.