Deaconate Ordination of Godfrey Dhlamini

 

By Fr Dominic Fungai Tomuseni SJ

 

Godfrey Dhlamini, Mzekezeke to his friends, was ordained alongside 21 other deacons and one priest at Hekima College in Nairobi, Kenya on the 2nd of March 2019. It was a beautiful sight to behold as Hekima gardens were transformed into some kind of a theme park for the occasion. 

It appeared as if the entire continent was present because the ordinands came from different countries across the continent. A couple came from as far as India. Many visitors came from different countries to support the ordinands. The dressing, music, dances and languages represented different countries across the continent. We were happy to have Godfrey representing Zimbabwe in this grace filled event 

 

 The ordaining prelate focused his homily on human inadequacy for this calling and how it is only God who makes it possible to live this calling. In a way Godfrey embodies this message as he is a self-effacing man, who always place God and others before himself. The Zimbabwean community in Kenya that came to support him testified to this grace in Godfrey and shared about his commitment to the lord others as a tireless coordinator of their community. 

 

After the ceremony the Zimbabwean community gathered to celebrate with Godfrey. Godfrey’s sister who had travelled from Swaziland gave a touching testimony of how her brother’s vocation was a fulfillment of their mother’s dream. She recalled their mother’s last words to them as she encouraged them to keep the faith. It was a powerful testimony of how the vocations are natured in the family. We gave thanks for the gift of her son to the church. We hope that she rejoices with the angels as her son carries forward the faith she bequeathed to him. 

 

No one goes through events and remains the same. For the new deacons, we say they experienced an ontological change. It is a way of trying to grapple with something that happens to them, which we cannot access with our senses. I think for those of us who witnessed this event, even though we did not experience the ontological change, we are no longer the same after witnessing their solemn way of saying yes to the lord. The moment when the lay on the floor and we invoked the church in heaven to pray for them was a very precious moment that etched an indelible mark on the hearts of many. The handing of the bible accompanied with the words “receive the word of God whose herald you are, believe what you read, preach what you believe and practice what you preach” was a powerful summary of not only their calling, but our participation of the faith that goes back to biblical times

 

 Indeed the ordination was a testimony of the faithfulness of God to us that he will continue to send workers to his vineyard and will be with his people until the end of time. We pray for Godfrey and all his fellow deacons. May God grant them the graces they need for their work. 

 

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