By Leonard Ncube in Bulawayo
Archbishop Alex Thomas of the Archdiocese of Bulawayo on Saturday, 29 July 2023 ordained seven priests, bringing to 104 active clergymen in the Archdiocese.
Archbishop Alex had his episcopal ordination in 2009 and since then he has ordained 59 priests, a development he dedicates to God’s hand.
On Saturday, 29 July, Archbishop Alex also witnessed a record close to 90 priests and dozens of religious sisters and brothers converging at Our Lady of Fatima pilgrimage site in Pumula South for the ordination Mass attended by thousands of Catholics from across the Archdiocese and beyond.
There were some from other dioceses and some priests and sisters from outside the country.
The newly ordained priests are Reverends Thomas Maqandar Moyo, Thabiso Clive Sibanda, Jackson Dube, Musawenkosi Moses Sibanda, Nobert Mandungumana, Thabo Dube and Patrick Mpofu.
“Today was a great day having ordained seven priests. Five for the Archdiocese of Bulawayo and two from religious congregations but they all belong here and they will work here. It’s great joy for us,” he said.
He was speaking in an interview after the ordination Mass.
The Archbishop said it is not very easy to train a priest because they go through a long period of training and formation.
“To choose a life which is different from worldly life, promise of obedience and to live a life of being very simple and humble is very difficult for the young generation, but we thank God for giving us priests and today was the highest number, and the Archdiocese of Bulawayo as of now has 104 priests who are active.
“Out of that, 58 are diocesan priests and others belong to various congregations. Ever since I became the Archbishop of Bulawayo until today, I have ordained 59 priests so I am very happy that in such a short time I was able to get so many priests. It is not my greatness; it is by God’s design. It is God who calls priests, deacons, brothers and sisters to live a life of commitment,” he said.
Mass was characterised by melodious singing from the Archdiocesan choir while some youths drawn from different parishes across the archdiocese gave moving acclamations dedicated to each new priest at the end of Mass.
Earlier, the ordination sermon was hinged on encouraging the new priests to be steadfast in their vocation and to live by the teachings of the church. The congregants were also encouraged to play their part in support of priests and religious.
They were encouraged not to do anything that is not sanctioned by the mother church and to lead God’s flock to greener pastures.
All the seven new priests conducted their first thanksgiving Mass at their respective parishes. Ref Fr Mandungumana held his at Holy Spirit Parish in Nkulumane 12, Rev Fr Mpofu at St Mary’s Basilica in the city centre, Rev Fr Musa Sibanda at Holy Family in Nketa, Rev Fr Moyo at Embakwe Mission in Plumtree, Rev Fr Jackson Dube in Plumtree, Rev Fr Thabo Dube at St Peter and Paul, and Rev Fr Thabiso Dube at St John’s in Sekusile, Nkulumane.