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New Bishop in Angola Celebrates a Moment of Joy and “fear” on Ordination

Bishop Maurício Camuto of Angola’s Diocese of Caxito.

The Sunday, August 16 Episcopal ordination of Mons. Maurício Camuto of Angola’s Diocese of Caxito was both a joyous and a moment of “fear” for the Bishop-elect who is seeking to entrust his service to the people of God in the Southern African country to God.

“This is a moment of relief on one hand, but on the other hand I feel a certain fear for the responsibility that I now carry. God has called me; we will trust in His grace and in this mission” Bishop Maurício said in a report that was shared with ACI Africa on Wednesday, August 19.

In his maiden speech as newly-ordained Bishop at the occasion that was graced by the President of the Episcopal Conference of Angola and São Tomé (CEAST), Archbishop Filomeno Vieira Dias, the new Bishop pledged to serve with a heart full of faith and love for the faithful of Caxito Diocese.

The member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans) further promised to always seek “to live up to the expectations of the faithful of Caxito and to listen to the concerns of the Diocese according to the will of God”.

At the ordination event, Archbishop Dias reminded Bishop Maurício that the Episcopate is a service, not an honor, “because the Bishop is more in charge of serving than guiding.”

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Archbishop Dias who is the Local Ordinary of Angola’s Luanda Archdiocese further urged the new Prelate to get closer to the people of God, Clerics, the sick and all those with broken hearts.

The President of CEAST encouraged Bishop Maurício to always draw strength from God “as strength and faith in Jesus Christ does not impoverish man. It renews man and projects him to his true dimension.”

The ordination was also attended by the Bishop of Benguela, Bishop António Jaca, founder of the Diocese of Caxito, members of the local government, representatives of civil society and thousands of Catholic faithful.

Also present was Bishop Jesus Tilson Blaco of the Diocese of Luena who said that the new Bishop was “a worthy Bishop for Caxito, because of his willingness to execute his mandate, basing on his previous roles.”

Bishop Maurício was, on June 15, appointed second Local Ordinary of the diocese that was erected in June 2017, a see that had been vacant since March 2018 when Pope Francis transferred Bishop António Francisco Jaca to the Diocese of Benguela.

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Aged 57, Bishop Maurício was born in the province of Kwanza Norte within the Diocese of Ndalatando in Angola. He had his Religious and Priestly formation in Congo-Brazzaville, taking his Religious vows as a Spiritan in September 1987. He was ordained a Spiritan Priest in July 1991.

He is an alumnus of the Rome-based Pontifical Salesian University where he studied Social Communication from 2000 to 2003. He has previously served in the Commission for Communications of CEAST and for six years since 2010, as the Provincial Superior of the Spiritans in Angola.

Until his appointment, the new Bishop had been the Director of Radio Ecclesia, the National Catholic Radio in Angola.