Nkolbisson, Yaoundé. In a day filled with joy and celebration, the Independent Delegation of Cameroun witnessed the priestly ordination of Father Michel Yves Akoa, CMF, with the esteemed presence of the Claretian Missionaries and the lay faithful gathered at the Saint Charles Lwanga parish on October 24, 2023. The ordination ceremony was graced by the presence of His Lordship Marcelin-Marie Ndabnyemb, Bishop of Batouri, who presided over this sacred occasion.
During the solemn ceremony, Bishop Ndabnyemb delivered a heartfelt sermon directed towards Michel Yves, praising the young priest’s courage in responding positively to God’s call. He emphasized the current challenges faced by the Church, noting a lack of exemplary priests who fully serve the interests of the Master.
Bishop Ndabnyemb highlighted the importance of priests who not only wear the clerical collar but, more significantly, carry the message of liberation found in Christ. He encouraged Michel Yves and all Claretians to remain steadfast in their mission of preaching Christ as the ultimate message of liberation and salvation.
Perpetual Professions in Zimbabwe
Ruwa, Zimbabwe. In a joyful and spiritually uplifting gathering, on 24 October 2023 the Claretians of Zimbabwe gathered at St. Charles Lwanga Parish in Ruwa to celebrate the Feast of St. Anthony Mary Claret and bear witness to the perpetual profession of their brothers, Students Kudzai Tonganai, CMF and Lee Malunga, CMF. This special occasion marked a significant moment in the Claretian community, as Kudzai and Lee became the third and fourth Zimbabweans to make their perpetual profession in the congregation.
The heart of this celebratory event was the Eucharistic celebration held on the 24th. Fr. Joaquín Béjar, CMF, the Coordinator of the Claretian Missionaries in Zimbabwe, had the honor of receiving the perpetual vows of Lee and Kudzai. Surrounded by their families and an enthusiastic congregation, this day was filled with profound emotions and spiritual significance.
In addition to the local faithful, members of the growing group of Lay Claretians, who are beginning their journey within the movement, shared in this significant moment of faith. The celebration extended beyond the church service, as everyone came together for a shared meal, followed by delightful performances prepared by students from the Primary and Secondary Schools of St. Vincent. These schools are under the pastoral care of Lee Malunga, CMF, one of the Claretians who made their profession.
The festivities continued as the Claretians of Zimbabwe gathered the following day for their Assembly. This was a time for reflection on their life and mission in Zimbabwe, as well as a precious opportunity for fellowship and communal prayer. The gathering culminated in prayers of gratitude to God for the gift of their vocations and the continuous blessings showered upon their mission.
The Claretian Missionaries first set foot in Zimbabwe in January 2002, embarking on a journey of faith and service. Today, their community comprises eight priests, including two Zimbabweans, four Spaniards, and two Indians. In addition, five students are pursuing various theological courses in Morogoro, Tanzania. Alongside them, six young aspirants and postulants are residing in Claret House, Harare, taking their initial steps in the mission of the Church.