By Honore Onana Olah
The priestly ordination of Fredrick Meela, SJ., in Arusha on July 21 by Mgr. Josephat Lebulu, Archbishop Emeritus of Arusha, Tanzania, concludes a year full of blessings and thanksgiving to the Jesuit Province of East Africa with the ordination previously of the seven other members of the province including Victor Awiti, SJ., Patrick Ng’anga, SJ., Oscar Momanyi, SJ., Kenneth Ogot, SJ., and George Macharia Njeri, SJ., Allan Ggita, SJ., Robert Ssekyanzi, SJ.
Mgr. Josephat Lebulu, Archbishop Emeritus of Arusha, Tanzania, ordained the Jesuit Fredrick Meela as priest on July 21, 2018 at the parish of St. Josephine Bakhita, on the outskirts of Arusha, about a kilometer from the Jesuit novitiate of Gonzaga Gonza. After it rained a bit early morning as a blessing for the rest of that special day, it was around 10 a.m. (local time) that the procession of about thirty priests shook in the direction of the place planned for the ordination mass.
At the end of the mass, Fr. Joseph Oduor Afulo, SJ., Provincial of Eastern Africa thanks Mgr. Josephat, for his “prompt availability to come and preside over the Holy Eucharist.”
Mass is a feast in Africa
However, last July 14 around this time in St. Peter’s Parish of Nsambya, located on the outskirts of Kampala in Uganda, Mgr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, Archbishop of Kampala, presided over the Priestly Ordination Mass of two other members of the Jesuit province of East Africa including Allan Ggita, SJ, and Robert Ssekyanzi, SJ., a ceremony rich in colors according to African traditions.
Another colorful ceremony with African liturgical traditions was the Mass of Priestly Ordination presided over by Mgr Martin Kivuva, Archbishop of Mombasa, on June 23, 2018 at St. Joseph the Worker Parish on the outskirts of Nairobi. They were five Jesuits to be ordained on that day. They were Victor Awiti SJ., Oscar Momanyi SJ., Patrick M. Ng’anga SJ., Kenneth Ogot SJ., and George Macharia Njeri SJ., to be ordained by the Archbishop of Mombasa.
Many faithful and Jesuits from various part of the world attended those ordinations but according to Sammy Wafula Wanyonyi, SJ, regent working at St. Peter Claver High School in Dodoma Tanzania, “the ordination in Nairobi was a very colorful one. I was touched by the attendance and active participation of the family members of the ordained, particularly Oscar Momanyi, whom we come from the same town. The youth of the parish graced the day by coming out in numbers with dances of different styles from different Kenyan cultures. They motivated the congregation to join them and dance from wherever they were sitting.”