Limbe Cathedral grounds in the Archdiocese of Blantyre were last Saturday packed with family and friends of three Roman Catholic priests Rev Fathers John Kuziona, Cornelius Manyungwa and Montfort Mvonye as the priests celebrated Silver and Golden jubilees.
Mvonye has clocked 50 years in priesthood while the other two have clocked 25 years.
Archbishop Thomas Msusa led scores of priests in officiating a Thanksgiving Mass for the three priests.
In his homily, Msusa called on recently ordained priests to choose role models among older priests to encourage and help people cultivate values.
“I think older priests such as Fr Mvonye play an important role in inspiring younger priests,” said Msusa.
He counselled all priests that the priestly office is a unique expression of the identity of Jesus.
“For reasons that only God himself can comprehend, Christ has chosen to manifest Himself in us as we embrace the priestly office that we celebrate this morning,” he said.
The archbishop also said that to fully embrace their role as priests, priests must remain firmly rooted in Christ.
During the mass, the jubilee celebrants renewed their priestly vows, during which they promised to closely attach themselves to Christ and be faithful ministers of God and the Eucharist.
The archbishop appealed to the Catholic faithful to continue praying for their priests to help them remain faithful ministers.
Addressing the congregation on behalf of his colleagues, Fr. Kuziona thanked all for making the day a success.
He said when they look back to their years of priesthood, they acknowledge the spiritual, material, financial and moral support they have received from bishops, fellow priests and the laity.
Fr Kuziona also thanked God for the gift of priestly life and vowed to courageously continue in the service of God.
He paid special tribute to the late archbishop James Chiona who ordained him and Fr Manyungwa and hailed their parents for nurturing and encouraging them in their vocation.
“Our bishops are our heroes. We are happy that they taught us to be responsible. We are also grateful to all beloved priests, parishioners in our respective mother parishes and where we have served and where we are currently serving for the great assistance that has made our service to God easy in all respects,” Fr Kuziona said. n