Religious Order Ordains 8 Members with 6 Witnesses in Attendance
The Kenya-based Religious Congregation of the Contemplative Evangelizers of the Heart of Christ (CECC) had the priestly ordination of its eight members held with a limited number of participants in line with government directives over COVID-19. The Thursday, April 16 celebration, which took place in the 2,000-capacity Christ the King Cathedral of Kenya’s Nakuru diocese, was witnessed by just half a dozen people, a member of CECC told ACI Africa in an interview.
“Because of the COVID-19 issue, we were not able to invite people. There were no parents or friends of the candidates, it was only 15 of us; few representatives of the congregation, the Bishop and the candidates,” the Zonal Coordinator of CECC in Kenya’s Nakuru region, Fr. Daniel Mwasi Mose, told ACI Africa Thursday, April 16.
During the one-and-a-half-hour event held with permission from Kenyan government authorities, Bishop Maurice Muhatia of Nakuru Diocese ordained eight deacons of CECC, drawn from various parts of the East African country, to priesthood.
“We were at Christ the King Cathedral (Nakuru), a Church with a capacity of almost 2,000 people and we were only 15 of us in total,” Fr. Mose said and added, “We really observed the government guidelines as required; we had sanitizers, wore masks and observed a social distance of three metres.” Concerning the newly-ordained priests, Fr. Mose told ACI Africa, “They understood the situation; they have been having their retreat for the last five days and this was explained very clearly to them.” He added in reference to the eight newly-ordained clerics, “They were actually praying that they can be ordained even if there are no people, and then after COVID-19, they can go and celebrate.” According to the Kenyan cleric, having been ordained during the Easter Octave, the new priests have participated in “the Paschal Mystery of the suffering, death and resurrection of the Lord; they have actually gone through it because of the COVID-19 pandemic and suffering of Christ united in resurrection.”
Ordained during COVID-19, Fr. Mose further said, the new priests have the opportunity to “remember they have been given a mandate; they are the healers because they are to give people hope.” CECC was founded in Kenya in 1986 by the Comboni Missionary Italian priest, Fr. John Marengoni. Composed of priests and brothers, it is an exclusively missionary institute dedicated to the evangelization of peoples. CECC members are expected to promote contemplative prayer in themselves and in their people by imitating the interior feelings and attitudes of prayer, sacrifice and zeal within the Heart of Christ (Cordis Christi).
By Mercy Maina - ACI Africa