On Saturday, February 10, 2018, twenty five Jesuits were ordained deacons. The event took place at Hekima College in Nairobi, Kenya. They were joined by five Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI). Family, friends and fellow Jesuits from all over Africa and Madagascar joined the ordinands on this special occassion to mark a new beginning, a new mission, in the Society of Jesus. The JESAM President, Rev. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator SJ, was present to celebrate the diaconates new service to the Church.
The presiding prelate was Most Rev. Maurice Muhatia Makumba, Bishop of Nakuru, Kenya. In his homily, he reflected on the Book of Jeremiah, chapter 1: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." He invited the diaconates to the service of the church and of the poor.
Being ordained to the diaconate for Jesuits, is a key part of formation that is required prior to priestly ordination. In the next few months, as part of their formation, some will proceed for pastoral work while others will undertake second cycle of studies, the new deacons will continue to gain pastoral experience over the next few months before being ordained to the Catholic priesthood. Roman Catholic deacons are ordained to assist the Bishop and his Presbyterate as ministers of the word, of the altar, and of charity. They can proclaim the Word of God, preach and preside at the sacraments of baptism and marriage and at the rite of Christian burial.
We are deeply grateful to God and to the newly ordained deacons for their prayers and gifts to the Society of Jesus. We are grateful to those who in one way or the other, have accompanied and helped our companions to reach this stage of formation.
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JESAM President, Rev. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator SJ, addressing the newly ordained deacons at Hekima Jesuit Community, Nairobi, Kenya
The newly ordained deacons at Hekima College, Nairobi, Kenya
left: Rev. Maurice Muhatia Makumba, Bishop of Nakuru, Kenya
Right: Ordinands at Hekima College