Priestly Ordination of Zweli Moltshwa, OMI

I had arrived at about fifteen minutes before the scheduled start of the ordination. A few minutes earlier it did not seem that we - I had taken mom along - would arrive in time, because the taxi we had been travelling in had seemed to be touring Soweto-maybe a bit of an exaggeration-but it did seem like we had been driving forever. Furthermore the condition of the taxi, was nothing to write home about. Nonetheless we arrived all in one piece at.

Upon arrival at the Church, which I expected to be jammed pack, there were people roaming about exchanging dignitaries. I happened to see some people, I have not seen for ages. The clergy had started to form a line, and that was our cue to move in to the church and settle down and prepare ourselves for Mass. It was a special day not only for the Mlotswa family, the Regina Mundi Parish, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, but for the entire Church.

Mass began, and the altar servers, together with the clergy proceeded to the altar. I tried to keep count of the number of clergy, which I must say is something which unfortunately has become the standard by which priestly ordination have been judged, i.e. the number of priests. I obviously have been caught up in this web. Any way there were quite a number of clergy men present, which I must say was a great number considering that it was Saturday, which second to Sunday can be the most busiest day of the week. Or was this number of clergy a reflection on the person to be ordained? Who knows? Nonetheless, it was great to see the great support from the clergy, which I must say came from far and wide.

The Liturgy proceeded as per normal. One thing that caught my attention, and which I believe should each time, somebody stands up to preach, shares or give a sermon, is that a message should come through. One or should I say two aspects which remained with me, was, almost an instruction or even a warning from the Archbishop to the priest-to-be, was his conduct as a priest. He lightly joke about the attire of priest, as well as drinking habits that need to be curbed. These were his words concerning the latter: "You have to see less of Mr. Jack Daniels." This humour was warmly appreciated by the congregation. The second remark from the Archbishop to Zweli, as he is commonly known, which also ended his homily was, as he pointed to Zweli's parents, "You see these people, you know them, don't you. Make them proud." After the homily the ordination right proceeded as normal. The singing was good, but was a bit below par. I mention this because I have become so accustomed to almost perfect display of singing, especially of black parishes.

As usual, just before the Final Blessing, there are always a few speeches to be made. The one that stands out for me, was that of the newly ordained Priest, Zweli. What stayed with me was, that he was just being himself in thanking the people who had helped him thus far. Even more impressive was his gratitude to the people of Zimbabwe( his is currently ministering there), which he expressed in Shona.

The church had been packed, and so there was long queues of people starting to form so as to celebrate this great occasion in food and drink. The catering was well done and organised.
It was a great day! Indeed something so rare and precious. Congrats!! Zweli

By Br. Sebastian Rossouw, OMI.



Bishop Buti presents the newly ordained Fr. Zweli, as Deacon Mandla looks on.
Picture supplied by Bro. Tiyiselani Msimango, OMI.


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