Amid COVID-19, Clergy Need Revitalizing for Fruitful Ministry: Mozambican Cleric

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Faced with COVID-19 challenges, including restrictions, members of the Clergy are expected to “revitalize” in order to attend to the needs of the people of God under their pastoral care, a Catholic Priest ministering in Mozambique’s Maputo Archdiocese has told ACI Africa correspondent.

“The Mozambican Diocesan Clergy are called to stay up to date, since every man needs to revitalize himself so that his office is fruitful,” Fr. Salvador Muxlhanga said Tuesday, January 26

Fr. Muxlhanga who was speaking to ACI Africa correspondent in Mozambique on the sidelines of a five-day formation of “youthful” Diocesan Priests ministering in the Southern African nation added, “revitalization occurring in a group becomes much richer. Clearly, especially at this time, this represents a risk, linked to contagion, because we are a group in the same place.”

Fr. Muxlhanga is among 80 Diocesan Priests participating in an ongoing formation program at the Nazareth Centre for Religious and Pastoral Formation in Mozambique’s Archdiocese of Beira.

The formation, which takes place every three years, seeks to bring together members of the Clergy drawn from the 12 Catholic Dioceses of Mozambique ordained in the last ten years.


It was not possible to bring together all the members of the Clergy in one session due to COVID-19 restrictions, Fr. Muxlhanga told ACI Africa January 26, adding, “the trainees were divided into two groups of forty each.”

“The state imposes a limit of 50 people in this type of gathering, with two meters of distance between the participants, in addition to the mandatory use of a mask, hand hygiene and other health security measures,” the Mozambican Cleric who is the Parish Priest of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish of Maputo Archdiocese explained.

The January 25-30 session is the first of the two planned sessions, the second session expected to run from February 1-5, bringing together the second group of the Clergy.

This year’s theme is inspired by St. Paul’s Letter to Timothy, “Do not neglect the gift of God that you received.”

“Four topics are being addressed during the formation,” Fr. Muxlhanga said and highlighted them as “taking care of oneself, taking care of pastoral aspects, the use of social networks, and acting on the social level.”

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Reflecting on the value of the ongoing formation of the Clergy, Fr. Muxlhanga who is a member of the Vocations Department at the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique (CEM) said, “This formation represents a double opportunity. On the one hand, the reunion with the brothers and on the other the staying up to date.”

The coming together of members of the Diocesan Clergy in Mozambique is also rich because it provides an opportunity for the participants to examine their ministry among the people of God amid COVID-19 challenges, including “how measures taken by health authorities and other stakeholders can bear fruit for these communities,” Fr. Muxlhanga said.

Highlighting the need for Priests to stay up to date with digital technologies, Fr. Muxlhanga said, “Communication technologies, in general, and social networks, in particular, are there to help us to shepherd and care for me and care for those who are ours.”

“The world revolves around these realities,” he said in reference to digital media.

“Today, we are called to look at these means as a way of opening up to the world and announcing the gospel from ‘New Areopagi,’” Fr. Muxlhanga told ACI Africa correspondent, making reference to the metaphor, which St. John Paul II employed in a missionary context.