Br. Razafiarison Nomena Michel Roberto from Madagascar was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Zolile Petros Mpambani, SCJ, on February 12, 2017, at Saint Francis of Assisi Parish, Eastwood., The bishop, in his homily, encouraged Br. Roberto to be effective in action, gentle in ministry, constant in prayer and to seek not to be served but to serve. Quoting the SCJ Constitutions No. 96, he reminded Br. Roberto not to consider the diaconate as a chronological stage toward priesthood. Instead, think of it as a time to grow in human and spiritual maturity so that he may deepen awareness of the office that he was about to receive. Bp. Zolile also appealed to all the faithful present in the Eucharist to pray for the new deacon so he may strive to radically live according to the Word of God and cultivate the spirit of reading the Holy Scriptures because God speaks to us in the silence of our heart through his Word.
The Eucharistic celebration was presided over by Bishop Zolile Mpambani, with Fr. Yvon Mathieu, SCJ, regional superior of Madagascar and Fr. Bernard Tente Sompane, SCJ, provincial superior of South Africa. The concelebrants included the formators of the International Dehon Formation House: Fr. Kazimierz “Angel” Gabryel, SCJ (RSA), Fr. Jean-Claude Nkuka, SCJ (DRC) and Fr. Gilbert Kamta, SCJ (CRM), Fr. Sanil Michael, SCJ (RSA), the parish priest of St. Francis of Assisi, Fr. Chris Grzelak, SCJ (RSA), lecturer at St. Joseph’s Theological Institute at Cedara, and Fr. Jean-Paul Amuli, SCJ (DRC). They were joined by other priests and parishioners who witnessed this important event of the SCJ family and of the Church at large.