This past weekend has not only moved Bujumbura with the final match of the epic World Cup, it also yielded abundant spiritual rewards for both the Archdiocese of Bujumbura and catholic Christians from Burundi. Pride, joy and love filled the crowds as they gathered at the Junior Seminary of Kanyosha to celebrate the ordination of ten priests, ten deacons and other candidates to the different Ministries of the Church.
The ordination Mass was celebrated by Mgr. Gervais Banshimiyubusa, Archbishop of Bujumbura. As a reminder, this is the first time he ordains priests since he was invested in that role three months ago. He was joined in the celebration by his direct predecessor Bishop Evariste Ngoyagoye and numerous concelebrating priests.
In his homily, he addressed the assembly and the candidates on the duties of their mission. He offered concrete ways to build up the Church in such a critical time for the country. He indicated that the country often witnesses so many troubles that even lead servants of God to be catalogued as belonging to this or that side, whether they like it or not. ”I’m calling you to stay humble, become agents of peace, always listen to what God tells you and listen to advices from your elders”, the bishop said.
After the liturgy of the word, the bishop proceeded with the rite of the ordination that the present believers of all ages and the candidates were waiting for with bated breath. This started with the calling of the candidates, their presentation, after which they then went one by one to the bishop and, kneeling before him, placed their joined hands between those of the bishop and made a promise of obedience. By the time the Bishop pronounced the famous sentence: “May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfilment”, applause, cheers and smiles filled the entire gathering.
Other key moments that captured the attention of the crowds were the beautiful images of the newly ordained priests lying prostrate in front of the altar during the litany of the saints. Amazing too was the view of the laying on of hands whereby the ordained waited quietly and patiently as both bishops and hundreds of priests laid their hands on each man in a silent prayer of ordination. The scene was followed by the investiture with stoles and chasubles for the newly ordained priests and the anointing of hands with chrism. Finally, a long queue of different groups from Regina Pacis Parish of Kinindo was magnificent as they presented their gifts.
The First Vice-President of the Republic, H.E. Gaston Sindimwo who had honoured the ceremonies asked the freshmen priests and the Bishop to take care of the sacred gift that God blessed the country with through that Ordination. He urged the priests to saw seeds of peace among Burundian people and use their power to forgive sins to help in cleaning up all the sins that keep us away from God’s path,” he added.
The ceremonies ended in a cordial atmosphere as the newly ordained, church and family members, guests of honour and friends shared a drink.