On May 7, the Ordination of 7 Priests and 6 Deacons took place in the Cathedral of Bafoussam in Cameroon. Among them, 4 Dehonians were ordained Priests. Based on their ordination mottos, they share with us their vision for the Priesthood.
A priesthood that is lived in joy.
Father Michel Colince F. Kamdem, on his ordination motto: “Be joyful always” 1Th 5:16
The ministerial priesthood to which the Lord invites me is a source of joy. It is this joy that I would like to share with my brothers and sisters to whom the Lord will sent me. The exhortation of Saint Paul to the Christians of Thessalonica is to live their faith in a most appropriate way in Jesus Christ. It is one of the most convincing example. The life of faith in joy. The joy of the priest certainly conditions in the joy of those under his care and much more. Likewise, a priest who does not radiate joy, who is sad and always downcast, can only bring sadness, for “a good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit” (Mt 7:18). May the joy of the Gospel, to which St. Paul invites the Thessalonians, fill the heart of each one of you and enable you to radiate it always and everywhere. Never invite sadness into your home.
A priesthood that is nourished by the strength in God
Father Maurice Joël Mboukeu, on his ordination motto: “What is weak in the world, this is what God chooses to confound Wisdom”: 1 Cor 1, 27b.
This motto has been chosen since the first years of my formation. It is inspired by the fragility of the man that I am and especially by this I will to be instrument of peace, love and reconciliation in the hands of God and for the men of this world. It is also the result of the difficulties encountered in choosing this worthy vocation. Indeed, God has nothing to do with the proud; our whole life is pure grace. St. Paul’s vocation says a lot about any understanding we can give to this motto. The Apostle further emphasizes, “When I am weak, then I am strong. “2Cor12:10. In fact, in trusting God, we no longer see our weakness as weakness but as an awareness that God is waiting for this stage to take over and intervene on our behalf. Weakness here becomes a token of strength.
A Priesthood that is lived in love
Father Boris Igor Signe, on his ordination motto: “Let us love one another” (1Jn 4:7)
My favorite word is LOVE. Love is not just a word, it is a whole program of life, a way of being. By choosing this interpellation “let us love one another” as my ordination motto, it is above all for me to say to God my gratitude for his love put in my heart; a thanksgiving for the feeling of being loved by God (theophilos) in a special way. This motto also gives me the opportunity for a commitment. I will be an apostle of love, of that true and pure love which comes to us from God. Thus, to the men and women to whom I will be sent, I will commit myself to preach love, the true love that comes to us from God, who himself is love. In doing so, I will tirelessly nurture the dream that this call to “love one another” will one day become a reality in a world where hypocrisy, division and hatred have become the best friends of men and women of our time. To love, inspired by God’s love for us, and to invite my brothers and sisters to enter into this communion of love; this is the program of my priesthood. May the grace of the Lord, who invests me in this mission, always be my refuge beyond the imperfections that I will experience on this path of love!
A Priesthood lived in service
Father Paulin Kuissi Tagne, on his ordination motto: “Each according to the grace received, put yourselves at the service of one another as good stewards of a multiple grace of God”. 1 P 4, 10.
I meditated for a long time on my life in the light of the Holy Scriptures. For a long time, I asked the Lord again and again to tell me how to respond to his call to holiness and to indicate to me his word on which he would like me to build my ministry, better yet and quite simply my life as a Christian following him, according to the characteristics of my personality (strengths and limits) and the many graces, gifts and talents that he has given me for my own happiness and that of humanity. One morning during my meditation, this verse that I turned over several times without understanding its meaning and depth pinched my heart and settled there. In my opinion, this verse sums up a whole program of life which one does not necessarily need to be a priest, a Christian or a believer to follow, because even non-believers in a natural way, apply it in their daily life by following the call and the way of their conscience. One could even renounce the clerical state or one’s Christian faith, the depth of this recommendation of the apostle Peter will remain. Having become aware that my abilities in the services I am called to render gifts of God’s grace, that my existence within the human and Christian community is part of the divine plan, it seems clear to me that rendering to God what belongs to Him through the quality of care and zeal that I will give in the accomplishment of my services in favor of His people and my neighbor, will contribute to the happiness of humanity, of the Church, as well as to the Salvation of souls by the Grace of God alone.