Nairobi, 21 March, 2020 / 3:45 am (ACI Africa).
The newly ordained deacons and priests belonging to the Religious Missionary Congregation of the Apostles of Jesus (AJ) will temporarily minister in their respective native parishes, with the measures taken by various governments to contain the spread of COVID-19 impeding the 21 ordained clergy from traveling to their respective missions, a Church official said at the ordination event, Thursday, March 19.
Ordained at AJ grounds in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, the 16 deacons and five priests are natives of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“Initially, we had thought that from here they (newly ordained clergy) would go straight to the mission with a few days of staying at home with their people, thanksgiving Masses and celebrations, but again, with the challenge of the coronavirus, many borders are closed. It is impossible to move and cross borders easily,” the Pontifical Commissary, Fr. Raphael Wokorach, a Ugandan-born Comboni Missionary, told the congregation during the ordination.
AJ, the first religious missionary congregation to be founded in Africa, had its activities suspended by the Vatican, through a decree issued by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life dated June 21, 2018, placing the society under a Pontifical Commission of inquiry.
The Vatican-based Dicastery, which took over all duties of AJ leadership and undertook to conduct investigation into behavior of the members of the society, appointed Comboni Missionary Fr. Wokorach to head the investigation commission as the Pontifical Commissary.