BURUNDI, Maria Fischer with Material from https://www.peres-schoenstatt.org •
July 18, 2020, Covenant Day, in front of the Shrine of the Schoenstatt Fathers in Switzerland. A breathtaking view of Lake Lucerne. But we are talking about Africa, because we are standing here with two Swiss Africa veterans, Father Zingg and Father Barmettler, and we share their joy at the ordination of three Schoenstatt Fathers on this day, in Burundi. And they recount to us…—
The Schoenstatt Family and the pilgrims who belong to the Shrine of Mount Sion Gikungu in Bujumbura had eagerly awaited this Covenant Day on July 18, 2020. Three young men from the community of the Schoenstatt Fathers, Jean Bosco Habonimana, Floribert Kaneza, and Alain Amani Mwilarhe, were ordained deacons on October 19, the day of the Silver Anniversary of the Shrine of Peace and Reconciliation, and on that day they received their ordination in Rugazi, in the northwest of the country. About a hundred pilgrims came from the Shrine to participate in the celebration.
The Eucharistic celebration began at 9.45 a.m. with a procession accompanied by vocation songs. The candidates for the various ordinations, followed by the priests, Archbishop Emeritus Evariste Ngoyagoye and the Archbishop of Bujumbura, Gervais Banshimiyubusa, solemnly entered. Right at the beginning of the Mass, Father Laurent Nkurabanka gave a speech in which he welcomed especially those who had come from other parts of the country, as well as the relatives and friends of Father Alain from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
God chooses his co-workers today as Jesus chose his apostles – among fishermen, tax collectors and others, regardless of origin or background, said the archbishop in his sermon. Six deacons and 14 priests were ordained that day, among them the three young men from the community of the Schoenstatt Fathers. In the name of all the newly ordained, at the end of the Mass, one of the new priests thanked everyone who had accompanied them along the way – parents, brothers and sisters, teachers and educators from elementary school to the seminary, the priests with whom they lived, neighbors, and all the Christians who helped materially and spiritually in the celebration of the day. He also asked everyone to continue to pray more for them so that they may carry out their apostolate with courage and joy in Christ.
First mass of a recently ordained priest in Mont Sion Gikungu
Only twenty hours after their ordination in Rugazi, Fathers Jean Bosco HABONIMANA, Alain Amani MWILARHE and Floribert KANEZA introduced themselves to the faithful of the Shrine by presiding at the Eucharistic celebration of this 16th Sunday of the year, which was presided by two choirs. During the homily, Fr. Jean Bosco made it clear that priests need the prayer of the faithful and the power of God to carry out their apostolate well.
With the parable of the weeds in the wheat from the Gospel of the Day, Father Jean Bosco showed the Creator’s patience towards his creatures while he waited for their conversion. It is this kindness and patience that must characterize men for one another, beginning with the leaders towards their followers, parents towards their children, educators towards their pupils, and so on.
During the offertory three photos of the new Fathers and their mottoes were carried to the altar with the gifts. At the end of the Mass, everyone went in procession to the Shrine, a good opportunity for the new Fathers to place themselves in the good hands of the Blessed Mother for all their apostolate.
Original: German 24.07.2020 Translation: Lindsay Burger, Ohio, USA