Newly Ordained Deacons at Hekima University CollegeOn Februay 25th, 27 men, of whom 23 are Jesuits, were ordained Deacons by the Right Reverend Donatien Bafuidinsoni Maloko-Mana SJ, Auxiliary Bishop of Kinshasa, DRC. From the Rwanda-Burundi Region, the ceremony was graced by the presence of Very Rev. Fr. Jean Baptiste Ganza, SJ our regional superior, and Rev. Fr. Pierre Celestin Musoni, SJ from the Service Yezu Mwiza in Burundi. They came to support our men Deacon Rene Shema, Deacon Oscar Mpozenzi, and Deacon Jean Damascene Bavugayabo who were being consecrated deacons on that very day.

At the start of the Holy Eucharist, the deacons were called one by one to approach the altar from the crowds. This image, a symbol of how God calls his servants among the ordinary people and set them apart to serve Him in a special way, was significant to the faithful in attendance. As they moved from the crowds, one could feel a sense of the unique mission to which God called each one of them, echoing Isaiah 43:1 where God assures his chosen people about the special attention He pays on them: “Fear not, I.. have called you by name, you are Mine...” Hekima University College was in great joy; smiling faces and hugs could be heard and seen from every corner and corridors. It simply was a delightful day.

The celebratory ambiance carried on throughout the weekend, as the newly ordained brothers swiftly started to exercise their ministry in the house. Following that weekend, on Monday 27th, at the diaconate thanksgiving Mass held by the College, our very own Deacon Jean Damascene Bavugayabo, SJ was at the Ambo breaking the word of God to the community members. He impressed the congregation with an insightful homily worthy of freshmen in the business.

As the extract of his homily will tell it distinctly, he exhibited courage, confidence, and faith in his preaching. Talking in the name of his fellow deacons, he alluded to the Gospel of the day claiming that “they are rich not because of the money, but because they have given (hopefully) all to the Lord". Confirming the freedom that he and his fellow deacons have over the worldly affairs, he referred to the young man in the Gospel saying that: the possessions possessed the rich young man! What he owned eventually owned him. That was an obstacle, a big obstacle to following Jesus Christ. His hand could not reach the welcoming hand of Jesus Christ. He advised suggestively that Maybe we [deacons] should listen to this question deep within us ‘What do you want me to do Lord?’ and then be open to discover that which blocks us from doing what the Lord wants us to do! He concluded by exhorting everyone of us in the Chapel “to learn to name our masters so that we can overcome them and be free to live a true life […] The story of the young rich man shows that being a law-abiding citizen is not enough to make for discipleship.

In sum, we pride on the gift of the deacons we have received this year. For the Rwanda-Burundi Region, it is indeed a special blessing that our three men are now ready to dispense their energy breaking the word of God to people in Rwanda and Burundi. We wish them all God’s guidance so that their union with Him may bear fruits to everyone who listens and looks up to their exemplary works in our communities.

 

By Charles Niyigena, SJ

Special Studies, Catholic University of Eastern Africa

 

 

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