Jubilarians celebrate years of service, achievements and companionship

By Nonhlanhla Ngwenya 

The Jesuit Province of Zimbabwe-Mozambique and the Region of South Africa celebrated the commitment to service and achievements of the 2018 Jubilarians at a mass and dinner night held at Arrupe Jesuit University on the 22ndof August 2018 in Harare. 

Archbishop of Harare, His Grace Robert Ndlovu presided at the mass and concelebrating with his was Rt Rev Dieter Scholtz SJ, Bishop Emeritus of Chinhoyi Diocese, Zimbabwe-Mozambique Provincial Fr Chiedza Chimhanda SJ and eighteen jubilarians. 

The celebrations, were one of the historic activities in the process of unification of the provinces of Zimbabwe-Mozambique, Zambia-Malawi and the region of South Africa.

This celebration marked the men’s service for 60 and 50 years in Priesthood and also 25 years, 50 years and 60 years in the Society of Jesus. 

 A walk down memory lane, Fr Christopher Chatteris SJ, gave the congregants, family and friends in the pews a glimpse of all those years ago when they started lives set apart to serve God and others.

Leading in age and years of service was the oldest member of the province, Fr Anthony Watsham SJ, celebrating 60 years in Priesthood. Those celebrating 50 years in Priesthood were Fr Peter Edmonds SJ, Fr Brian Enright SJ, Fr Mark Hackett SJ, and Pedro Evangelista de Morais SJ.

Fr Simona Makuru SJ celebrated his 25 year service as a priest. 

Fr James Chaning-Pearce SJ, Fr Peter Edmonds SJ, Fr Eberhard Fuhge SJ, Fr David Harold-Barry SJ and Rt Rev Dieter Scholz SJ were illuminated to be celebrating 60 years in Society of Jesus.

Those celebrating the golden jubilee as Jesuits were the homilist Fr Christopher Chatteris SJ, Fr Joseph Hampson SJ, Fr Michael Lewis SJ, Fr Nigel Johnson SJ and Fr Patrick Makaka SJ.

Silver Jubilarians (in the Society) include Fr Inacio Mucane SJ, Fr Mario Silvano Carlos SJ and Fr Rampeoane Hlobo SJ.

 

In his Homily, Fr Chatteris SJ on the question St Ignatius asked himself as he moved through different stages of conversion: What kind of new life is this that I am beginning? What kind of new life is this that we are beginning?

“I am sure that Jesuits in the Novitiate, whether 5 years or 50 years ago all asked themselves that question, what new kind of life are we beginning, most importantly with whom have I gotten myself with,” he said.

He reminded the aged and young Jesuits to remember St Ignatius’s vision for the Society, which encourages community life, living together as a family. 

Fr Chatteris SJ further said if anyone of them looked to the priesthood as part of identity then the only way is to hold fast to St Ignatius’s vision.

“So if we look to the Priesthood as part of our identity, it seems to me we have to hold fast to St Ignatius’s vision of that and I think he would understand Pope Francis phrase; the smell of the sheep’’.

Fr Chatteris SJ reminded his fellow brothers in the Society that though St Ignatius’ soldiering days were over, there is something about the companionship of soldiers that he found worth considering.

He as ‘a soldier looks to his companion when things are tough, to cover him when he is under fire, when he is wounded or sick’ Jesuits must celebrate and live companionship to the fullest. 

In closing Archbishop of Harare Bishop Robert Ndlovu who was the main celebrant congratulated the Jubilarians and encouraged the Jesuits to maintain the spirit of evangelization as well as working for others especially the marginalized.

“I think you still hold the lead in evangelism in our country and region. We have seen some great missionaries coming from your Society like St Francis Xavier. So if you could also maintain that spirit, being there for the people of God especially the marginalized, the poor of the poor and I know you value that a lot”.

After mass, all jubilarians and guests were treated to a good dinner full of joy and a few tears of gratitude and appreciation. 

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