On Saturday 12 October 2019 the parish community of St Peter Claver (Brazzaville) had the joy of welcoming Christians coming from some dioceses – priests, religious of various congregations, relatives, friends and a delegation from the neighbouring Congo – to participate in the priestly ordination of the following Fathers: Divin Maboundou sss, Jack Harold Nkodia sss, Ephrem Uldaric Mabika sss, and Severin Amos Mvouka sss. The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Francisco Escalante Molina, Apostolic Nuncio to the Congo and Gabon, concelebrated by more than 50 priests among whom were Monsignor Giuseppe Comisso, secretary chargé d’affaires at the nunciature, Father Brel Daouda Malela sss, the superior of the Émile Cardinal Biayenda Region of Congo Brazzaville, the superiors of various congregations, other priests and abbots from elsewhere.
At 9.45 am, when the weather was gloomy, Saint Pierre Claver parish was stirred by the rhythm of the melodies of the choir 'Friends of Dominique Savio' (ADS) and the brotherhood Emile Biayenda of the parish mentioned. Then in his exhortation, Archbishop Francisco invited us to examine closely the meaning we give to our faith and our vocation as Christians and the reasons that underlie it. "Continue serving and keep your lights alight. Be like people awaiting their master when he returns from the wedding"(Luke 12:35-36). This the enigma and mystery of humankind: it is only passing through this world. We listened to him providing counsel to the ordinands as he showed the connection between the text of the day and the ministry of the presbyterate. He stated in essence that the priestly life is one full of joy, of crises but above all of failures; to live it requires strength and courage. He then asked each ordinand to live his priestly status with respect and fraternity in community while carrying out the three priestly functions of governing, teaching and sanctifying.
This priestly ordination had been spiritually prepared animated by Father Casimir Moukouba, the eldest of a multitude of cadets. So after the eucharistic celebration, one of the newly ordained thanked first the Lord, Master of life and Author of the vocations, then the provincial and regional councils for showing confidence in them, then the celebrant and all the older religious and finally the parents for their moral, spiritual and material support. After that, the Regional Superior, Father Brel Malela Daouda, spoke to thank everyone, and with these words, the celebration ended. On leaving the Church, the new priests were congratulated by their parents, friends and acquaintances, and a friendship meal was offered by the parish community in the community courtyard as a sign of fraternity and solidarity between the congregation, priests and the Nuncio. Thus this day of priestly ordination closed joyously. Everyone was happy and satisfied.
We end this account with Saint Peter Julian Eymard’s greeting to the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament: "Let us rejoice. Let us greet the beautiful day of Mary, who is the joy of heaven, the consolation of the earth, the terror of hell. Finally, behold her, the strong woman, the true mother of the living, the predestined mother of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. In her is encompassed all greatness." (cf. PO 15.1).
May Christ live forever in the Most Blessed Sacrament!
May the Eymardian Family live and increase!
Father Ephrem Nsimba Mabika, sss