By Br. Alfonce Kugwa
Jostling for power and positions are wrong ambitions in Catholic priesthood. This was said at an ordination of five priests at Mkoba Stadium in Gweru on 13 July 2019. The five were ordained by Bishop Michael Bhasera, the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Gweru. Among the five, Frs. Kudakwashe Chidhe, Aaron Mpofu, Stephen Mangoma and Augustine Manhovo are diocesan priests belonging to the Diocese of Gweru while Fr. Tembo Samuel Zhuva is of the Order of the Oblates of Mary Emaculate present in the Archdiocese of Bulawayo.
Addressing the new priests, Fr. Fortunate Kwiri highlighted that ordination is a revelation of God’s presence to his people and that a priest is a gift from God to humanity.
Fr. Kwiri urged the gathering of Catholics from different backgrounds who had gathered to witness the ordination to respect their priests so as to cultivate a culture mutual understanding and tolerance.
“The way we treat priests reflects the way we relate to God. However, this does not mean that priests should take people for granted but should also respect their flock,” said Fr. Kwiri.
Fr. Kwiri challenged priests to bring peace and not division to communities which they minister. He said priests should understand their ministry well for them to be effective in their work of evangelization. He castigated those who join priesthood for personal benefits saying they are in the wrong basket. He, however, encouraged the spirit of service among those who answer to the call of pastoral ministry.
“Jostling for power and positions are wrong ambitions in the Catholic priesthood. Priests are ordained to serve the both rich and poor. Priesthood means embracing all situations and all people. If you expect too much than what you are asked to do you will be disappointed. You are not ordained for the rich but the poor also need your comfort and listening ear. We are at the disposal of all and we should remain the apex of unity, peace and harmony,” he said.