On the sunny Monday of the 21st March 2016 morning gathered together in our beautiful Christ the King Cathedral in celebrating two precious things at once, that is, the Chrism Mass as well as Human Rights Day. The spirit was excellent from all angles. The attendance was beautiful than last year. Choir excelled in leading us, indeed we experienced what St. Augustine’s says, he who sings prays twice. We felt the spirit of God anew in us.
The main celebrant was the Chief Shepherd of the Diocese, His Lordship Bishop D. A. Mpako as it should. The Bishop welcomed everyone present and their trouble and means to come to this special celebration as there were so many things they could have done on the day. This celebration as we know it gives an opportunity to the Bishop to see his sheep that he shepherds in faith in one venue. It also gives a chance to the faithful to see all the clergy of the diocese together, it excites everyone to partake in Chrism Mass.
In his introduction he mentioned how important for us to take the celebration of the human rights serious. He said we all need to give each other the dignity they deserve. He made all the faithful aware of the letter by the SACBC on Racism. In his homily he focused mostly on three things,
- The role of priesthood to the people of God.
- Year of Mercy to everyone and
- Church internal politics
He appreciated the work the priests do in different parishes and mission stations, he made us understand that without his priests his mission will not be achieved in this diocese. He reminded the priests of their primary role which will make their ministry effective on their mission stations. To be there for their parishioners especially when they have lost their loved ones, visit the sick, administer sacraments, be available to celebrate masses with the people of God. He encouraged his priests to be servants and not to expect to be served.
He challenged the priests to be merciful like our Father, by forgiving and not condemning the people of God, to be humble priests than arrogant, to be selfless than glorified. He mentioned at the same time that he is very much impressed with the feedback he gets from the various parishes about how priests dedicate themselves in serving the people, their time to listen to the peoples challenges, their time and also physical presence to give support to the people.
In his homily he also reminded the people of God of their role to pray for their priests as their are not angels among them. He asked the people not to ask for extra-ordinary things from the priests but support him especially the moral support. He encouraged priests to be punctual for celebrations at their respective parishes.
He emphasized that parishioners should work hand in hand with their priests. They should be strong in faith, support the priest and make it a point that they use all the structures they have at their parishes than taking them to him. The oils were blessed, the national anthem was also sung before the final blessing to show that we understand what was celebrated nationally. All clergies and religious were invited for a finger lunch by the Administrator The Very Rev. Fr. S. Vanqa SAC