Back in Madadeni to ordain deacons

From left: Deacon Jasper IMC (from Kenya) and Deacon Didier (from DR Congo)

Two Consolata Missionaries from the DRCongo and Kenya were ordained deacons last Saturday at Christ the King (Madadeni) and, like it happened a year ago, I was invited to preside the celebration.

It is always a great joy for a Consolata Missionary bishop to ordain seminarians belonging to our family as we share the same spirit.

This year, though, there was more than that.

The celebration was held at Madadeni where the Consolata Missionaries arrived in 1991... 23 years' ago. I lived in the area from the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2003. Coming from a rural area with small communities like Piet Retief - Pongola, I was terrified to face an urban area with three big parishes.

The challenge was not only the place but also replacing Fr Giorgio Massa, one of our confreres who had been serving the area since 1991. Everyone knew him! After he left and I moved around in what had been his bakkie, everyone knew that the one inside it was the new priest-in-charge. They did not know me but they certainly knew the small Nissan 1400.

Fourteen years' later, I was back ... with Fr Giorgio who now lives with me in Manzini (Swaziland). It was not just the two of us who were there. Fr Joseph Mang'ongo IMC who later became priest-in-charge of Madadeni and Fr Rocco Marra the present priest-in-charge were also there. Being together and joyfully celebrating the ordination together shows who we are as "Consolata", a missionary family from all over the world proclaiming good news.

From left: Fr Joseph Mang'ongo, Fr Giorgio Massa, Mandla Makhanya

There was more. Fr Daniel Kibuw'a IMC, the vocational director, entrusted Mandla Makhanya to comment and animate the celebration. Mandla was born in Madadeni and he is a Consolata Missionary. He has just finished his studies and is waiting to be admitted to his final vows and ordination. It was very special for all of us to see how much Mandla has grown up and how confident he was in his service.

Back to the beginning. It was a great joy for all of us to celebrate the ordination of Didier from Congo and Jasper from Kenya. They have been serving in the communities of Madadeni - Osizweni (KZN) and Daveyton (Gauteng). Having finished their preparation, they now go back to their countries and wait for an appointment to any part of the world.

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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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