Care for Lord's flock as “humble, caring” Servants: Archbishop to Newly Ordained Priests, Deacons in Mozambique

The newly ordained Priests and Deacons in Mozambique's Catholic Archdiocese of Beira. Credit: Catholic Archdiocese of Beira

Archbishop Claudio Dalla Zuanna of Mozambique’s Catholic Archdiocese of Beira has urged the new Deacons and Priests he ordained on June 16 to care for the people of God in humility.

In his homily, during the ordination of Deacons Julião José Antônio and Fijamo M. Edmundo as Priests and Seminarians Carlos Jacinto Patrício and Fernando B. Adelino as Deacons, Archbishop Zuanna thanked God and the new members of the Clergy for their “yes” to the service of the Church.

“To be a Deacon is not to be a boss; it’s to be a servant, a humble servant with humble charity to serve the Christian communities,” he said during the celebration at Our Lady of Fatima Parish of Beira Archdiocese.

The Argentine member of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCI) cautioned against obsession with “one’s own interests” and emphasized the need for altruism.

“The service of the Deacon must be exercised with a pure conscience; not mixing the faith with one's own interests, with something that serves me particularly so that I can stand out above others and be respected because I have a dignity that is superior to others.  No!” he cautioned. 


Serving one’s own interests, the Catholic Church leader warned, would contaminate “the pure water of our faith, rendering it unfit for human consumption” and thus negatively affecting one’s ministry as a Clergy. 

Addressing himself to the two Priests-elect, who brought the number of Priests for the Mozambican Archdiocese to 55, he emphasized the role of Priests as caretakers of God’s flock. 

“The two brothers who will receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders in the priesthood are called to feed the Lord's flock,” Archbishop Zuanna said, and explained, “Shepherding means taking care that the flock may have food, that the flock may be defended, that the flock may find shelter, and that it may have clean water to drink.”

The Catholic Archbishop of Beira since his Episcopal Consecration in October 2012 emphasized, “Priests are to shepherd, to care for the flock by proclaiming the Word of the Lord ... to become sowers of the Word of God in our communities, in the hearts of each one of us.”

“They are asked to feed the people of God with the Sacraments, especially with the forgiveness of sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation; in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, to make that bread which the people of God present to you in the offertory into the Bread of Life, Jesus who becomes food for us,” he said. 

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Priests, Archbishop Zuanna further said, “must identify with Jesus and look to Him to try not only to do as He did but to identify with Him, and be one with Jesus.”

He went on to recognize the progress of the people of God under his pastoral care, saying the Church of Beira is “growing like a tree, with not only Priests but also baptized, confirmed and married couples, as a result of the seed sown in the Archdiocese through the Word of Jesus.”

“We must take care of this seed; we must be a good soil, which doesn't allow too many thorns to grow, thorns of division and other things that can stifle this seed that is growing,” Archbishop Zuanna appealed.

He added, “There must be mutual care between Priests and the faithful.”

Speaking at the end of the celebration, the representative of the newly ordained thanked all those who had made their formation journey possible, from Clergy to women and men Religious, to family members and friends. 


They described their Diaconate and Priestly ordination as “a new step in our response to the love of God and His call” and appealed for spiritual solidarity.

João Vissesse is an Angolan Journalist with a passion and rich experience in Catholic Church Communication and Media Apostolate.