“Don’t be reason for us to waver, fail in our Priestly duties”: Catholic Bishop in Tanzania to Laity at Ordination

Newly ordained Fr. Revocatus Baraka of Rulenge-Ngara Diocese in Tanzania blessing the congregation that witnessed his Priestly Ordinary on 14 June 2024. Credit: Radio Maria Tanzania

Catholic Laity are to help members of the Clergy, who are at their service to faithfully live their vocation as ordained ministers, Bishop Severine Niwemugizi of the Catholic Diocese of Rulenge-Ngara in Tanzania has appealed.

Bishop Niwemugizi made the appeal while presiding over the Priestly Ordination of Deacon Revocatus Baraka, the pioneer Clergy from St. Thomas the Apostle Keza Parish of his Episcopal See, the venue of the ordination celebration.

A Catholic Priest is “consecrated and sent so that each one, may serve the people of God by teaching, sanctifying, and governing in the person of Christ,” he said in his homily during the June 13 event.

“My dear brothers and sisters, I’ll always ask you to pray for your Priests,” the Tanzanian Catholic Bishop appealed, and continued, “We are human too, although this should not be an excuse for us to behave improperly.”

He explained, “Pray for us because we have the intention and the reason to live according to our vows; pray for us so that God helps us live out what we have committed to.”


“Do not be the reason for our failure,” Bishop Niwemugizi warned, and lamented, “Some of you pretend to be friends of the Priests, but you do it for your own reasons; and you are the first to let them down.”

“Please be good believers; and do not be the reason for us to falter and fail in our Priestly duties,” the Local Ordinary of Rulenge-Ngara since his Episcopal Consecration in February 1997 emphasized.

He further appealed for spiritual solidarity among the people of God under his pastoral care, saying, “We pray for you, and you pray for us; each one should be responsible so that ultimately we all attain eternal life, because ultimately we all want to reach salvation. That is the goal of everything we do, to reach eternal life in heaven.”

Turning his attention to the Priest-elect, Bishop Niwemugizi reflected on the First Reading from the Prophet Jeremiah in which the Lord highlights His knowledge of His servant “before I formed you in the womb”.

“That means God already knew you will exist,” he told Deacon Baraka, and went on to recall the Lord’s words to Jeremiah, “While you were in your mother’s womb, I consecrated you because I want to send you for a special work."

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“So, before you are born, God knows what He will use you for in the world where you will be born,” the Catholic Church leader, who turned 68 on June 3 said, adding in reference to the Deacon Baraka, “Even his parents did not know what God wanted this young man to do later. But God already knew that He would use him to be a priest, a prophet, a king to teach the people, sanctify them, rule them, guide them to know Him and serve Him.”

Newly ordained Fr. Revocatus Baraka of Rulenge-Ngara Diocese blessing his Local Ordinary, Bishop Severine Niwemugizi, who had just ordained him Priest during the 14 June 2024 celebration. Credit: Radio Maria Tanzania

He told the Priest-elect that God is sending him to serve people from all walks of life, including those “pretending not to care about matters of faith and religion”, urging him to be ready to serve without prejudice. 

In the call of the Prophet Jeremiah, the Lord sent him “to the nations”, Bishop Niwemugizi said, adding that the Lord does not expect his servants to discriminate against people, but instead reach out to all His people.

“Some will want to harm you, but Christ says, ‘do not fear because of these things, I’m ready to protect and save you so that you accomplish the mission I have for you’. The situations may not always for favourable, but He is sending you; God knows, He’ll take care of the situations,” he said. 


Priesthood, the Catholic Bishop went on to tell the Priest-elect, will be easy if he cultivates a life of prayer, and allow Jesus Christ to take the lead.

“My brother Baraka, rely on the grace of God; rely on His blessings,” he said, and added, “That is why St. Paul says I place you in the hands of God, depend on my grace.”

He warned, “If you do not pray and place yourself under the leadership of Christ, things will be difficult, but if you place yourself under His leadership, your paths will straighten out.”

The Local Ordinary of Rulenge-Ngara appealed for prayers for the Deacon he was about to ordain a Priest, saying, “Let us pray for him to accept these things that God wants to place on his shoulders, to accept them with humility, to accept them with faith, and to be ready to implement them with all his efforts, with great sacrifice, without asking in what situation he’s to work.”

“Let us pray for our young man not to be afraid because of the situation of the mission,” implored the Local Ordinary of the Tanzanian Diocese that under the Metropolitan See of Mwanza.

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Nicholas Waigwa contributed to the writing of this story

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