“Be missionaries everywhere”: Archbishop to New Priests, Deacons in Douala, Cameroon

Cristobal Cardinal Lòpez Romero lays hands upon one of Deacons during the Eucharistic celebration in which 18 Candidates were raised to Holy Orders, eight as Deacons, and 10 Deacons as Priests. Credit: Douala Archdiocese

Newly Ordained Priests and Deacons in the Catholic Diocese of Douala, Cameroon, have been encouraged to “be generous” with their lives in God’s service, availing themselves as missionaries whenever they are commissioned. 

Speaking on Wednesday, June 29 during the Eucharistic celebration in which 18 Candidates were raised to Holy Orders, eight as Deacons, and 10 Deacons as Priests, the Archbishop of Rabat in Morocco emphasized the need to understand the true sense of the Priesthood.

“Be missionaries everywhere. Every Christian is a missionary disciple. If the Lord calls you to go far away, be generous and go to other countries,”  Cristobal Cardinal Lòpez Romero told the candidates he was about to ordain.

Cardinal López Romero added, “It is because of the sacrifices and generosity of others that you are Christians today. It is your turn to go elsewhere to bring the Gospel.”

“Don't go anywhere to get money but to build the kingdom,” Cardinal López Romero said during the Holy Mass that was held at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral of Douala Archdiocese in Cameroon, and added, “Be proud of who you are: children of God.”


He continued, “By the grace of God and through baptism, you are children of God, brothers of Jesus, members of the Church, temple of the Holy Spirit.”

“Ordination does not give you a promotion,” Cardinal López Romero told the candidates he was about to raise to the Holy Orders, and added, “There is no such thing as an ecclesiastical career. Your highest title is to be a son of God.”

The Spanish-born member of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) urged those he was ordaining to “always be aware that everything is grace and everything is a gift! Nothing is a conquest. But everything is a gift to be received.”

“What you already are and what you will be, is a grace. Ordination is not a goal to be achieved; ordination is not a diploma. You are there because God has called you through the Church,” he emphasized. 

The Priesthood, Cardinal López Romero went on to say, “is a call to service in the world.”

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“You are servants, ministers; the stole you wear is a symbol of the lost sheep. The diaconate does not last a year. It lasts a lifetime,” the Archbishop of Rabat Archdiocese in Morocco said during the June 29 event.

He emphasized the role of ordained ministers as servants, saying, “Identify with the people by serving them: sometimes in the front, to lead them; sometimes in the back, so that no one gets lost; and sometimes in the middle, to listen and smell the sheep.”

“Live with the poor. Serve the sick. Do not seek to accumulate wealth. If you want money, change your ways,” Cardinal López Romero said, and added, “seek first the kingdom of God, the kingdom of peace, justice and love.”

“Do not work for the Church but in the Church for the kingdom of God,” he further said, and continued, “Be joyful. For God loves you. Jesus calls us friends, not servants.”

Turning his attention to those he was about to ordain Priests, the SDB member said, “To be a Priest is to carry the sufferings of others on your shoulders.”


“We must be men of prayer and increase our time of intimacy with God, before the Blessed Sacrament,” the 70-year-old Cardinal who has been at the helm of Rabat Archdiocese since his Episcopal Ordination in March 2018 said.

He also called on the people of God to “take care of your Priests so that they have at heart to serve the people” and invited families not to “put pressure on your children to change your living conditions.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.