Priesthood “an act of courage”: Catholic Bishop in Cape Verde to Newly Ordained Priest

Credit: Catholic Diocese of Mindelo

The call to the Priesthood takes courage and the will to serve God’s people, Bishop Ildo Augusto dos Santos Lopes Fortes of the Catholic Diocese of Mindelo in Cape Verde has said.

In his homily during the Priestly Ordination of Deacon William Monteiro, Bishop dos Santos emphasized the need for Priests to realize that the Spirit of God accompanies them in their Priestly ministry. 

“It takes courage to make the decision to become a Priest because the whole world is sometimes against us,” he said, and added, “We know that it is not easy these days for a young man to come forward to be ordained a Priest or to embrace Religious Life.”

When one responds to the call to the Priesthood, the Catholic Bishop said, “the only thing that counts is to be faithful until the end, listening to the voice of God who does not deceive.”

“The Priest in the Church is a sign that God continues to exercise His goodness and mercy towards us,” the Portuguese-born Catholic Bishop said during the Eucharistic celebration that was held at the Pavilion of the Salesian School in the Catholic Diocese of Mindelo.


He described the vocation to the Priesthood as “truly an act of courage” and further underscored the role of the Spirit of God, saying, “What the Church and the world need from a Priest is for him to be endowed with the power of the Holy Spirit.”

“Open your heart to the Spirit of God. If we close our hearts to the breath of the Spirit and His newness, all is lost,” the 59-year-old Catholic Bishop, who has been at the helm of Mindelo Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in April 2011 told Deacon Monteiro.

He cautioned, “A Priest who does not have the anointing of the Holy Spirit is a failure to the community.”

Bishop dos Santos continued, “The community doesn't expect you to be like a nice guy; sometimes we look like nice Priests, we look good, we're interesting, that's not what the community needs.”

“While we should be very friendly with people, that's not all that matters. What the Church and the world need from a Priest is for him to have the anointing,” the Local Ordinary of Mindelo said.

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He further cautioned, “If people don't meet Christ through our word, through our actions, it's worth very little; that's why it's decisive for each of us, before being ordained, to be pastors.”

“It's necessary sometimes to go through failures, and to learn humility and to learn that you have to count on the One from above and not rely only on your strength,” Bishop dos Santos said.

He emphasized the need for Priests to foster a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, saying, “Being disciples is fundamental for us to be able to continue following the Master and to give good service to Him.”

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