Saturday, the 2nd of February 2013 was a day full of sunshine for Queenstown, and this sunshine was not only physical but also very spiritual. It was a day full of joy for the people of the St. Theresa’s Mission, for the Pallottines and for the Diocese as well.
On the 22nd of January, it was 50 years ago that the founder of the Pallottines, Don Vincenzo Pallotti, a priest of the archdiocese of Rome, was canonised by Pope John XXIII during a session of the Second Vatican Council. The Pallottines in South Africa wanted to celebrate that golden Jubilee in a dignified and joyful way in which the Diocese of Queenstown, which was founded and consolidated by the Pallottines, was cordially invited to take part in.
A bishop never says “no” when he is invited to spend Holy Orders, and also Bishop Dabula Anthony Mpako of Queenstown was very glad and happy to have the honour to ordain four deacons for the Pallottines, who will send them in the pastoral field of his Diocese.
The liturgy in the beautiful St. Theresa Church was simple but splendid. The choir of the Pallottine Scholasticate of Merrivale and the congregation as well, embellished the service substantially, so that, after everything was over, some people told me: “Father, during that service we were really in heaven!”
For the local congregation, the calling up of the candidates and their prostration during the litany of all saints was extremely moving. Here, the mystery of a vocation became visible. It was clear: they saw en heard it: GOD WAS CALLING, even in their midst, even in their church!
After some inspiring words, the Bishop laid up his hands and the Brothers Rodrick White Phiri, John Alois Mangwele, Jones Samson and Ignacio Chipiko became deacons and took up immediately their task during the rest of the Liturgy.
At the end, it was a happy Provincial Delegate, Father Hermes Paononga SAC, who gave the vote of thanks mentioning also the apostolic fields in the Diocese of Queenstown, where the new deacons will go for their first pastoral tasks and experiences. After their priestly ordination, three of them will continue to work in the Diocese of Queenstown and the fourth one will go to Malawi as the first step for a new Pallottine Foundation in that country.
After the service, some snacks and a complete lunch were served to everybody by the members of the St. Theresa’s Congregation who later on asked me: “Father, thanks for that wonderful day! Can you also manage that at least one of them will be ordained a priest in our church?”!
Fr. Edward Tratsaert SAC