ORDINATION TO PRIESTHOOD: An Occasion to Actualise a Self-Reliant Church.

On Saturday 7th July 2018, Diocese of Mangochi ordained Deacon Richard Mbando at St. Augustine Cathedral in Mangochi as priest. Fr Richard is 65th in the line of active clergy in the diocese.  

Presenting the new priest to the congregation and announcing his first assigned destination for service, Bishop Stima echoed the address speech of the chair to the Laity Council, Mr Steven Lingamawa who summoned his fellow laity to support all ministers wherever they are allocated in the diocese; and not allow that priests fetch by themselves means to let ends meet. Bishop Stima however gave a practical touch to it when he invited the gathering to contribute towards the purchase of means of transport by which the new priest will have to use.

Later, he affirmed to the church in Mangochi that time has been ticking and time has indeed come that newly ordained ministers be provided locomotives my parishes they are assigned to. ‘It is being exercised elsewhere in the region, that the laity provide means of transport for new ordinants. Let us borrow a leaf from there. We too can do it. And for a start the diocese will cost share the expense for his means of transport. However let us start raising this amount from this very event. A self-reliant Church should think this way and this is the way to go’. Bishop Stima said as he called for a collection bowel.

After the ordination mass Fr. Richard gave our staff journalist an interview where he expressed his overwhelming joy for the occasion. ‘I have for long waited for this day. Here I am. May God’s name be glorified. I consider my calling as gift. It’s a gift to me, my family and the people I will have to serve and encounter. I have no better words to express my gratitude before God for such a great gift’, Fr. Richard said.

Fr Mbando finds inspiration in the words of the biblical Thomas. St Thomas exclaimed ‘my Lord and my God’ upon encountering the risen Christ. This was a demonstration of a tested faith. Faith can be rediscovered and mushroom again.

Fr. Richard hails from Nankhumba Parish and has been assigned to serve as parochial vicar at St. Augustine Cathedral Parish.