“Become seed that bears fruits of peace”: Bishop at Episcopal Ordination in Mozambique

Bishop Inácio Lucas Mwita of Mozambique's Gurué Diocese

A Bishop in Mozambique has called on the new Local Ordinary of the country’s Gurué Diocese to embrace servant leadership, striving to sacrifice his life for the peace of the people of God under his pastoral care, similar to a seed that dies to bring forth fruits.

In his homily during the episcopal ordination of Bishop-elect Inácio Lucas Mwita on Sunday, March 21, the Bishop emeritus of Mozambique’s Nacala Diocese, Germano Grachane made reference to the Gospel reading of the day saying, “To be a Bishop, more than to preside, is to become that seed that accepts to die in order to bear fruits of peace.”

“Accepting to die for one’s faith is the first vocation of every Christian and therefore of every Bishop,” Bishop Grachane said, adding that a Bishop is expected to “be willing to listen, acting as a member of a college with wisdom and prudence.”

The member of the Congregation of the Mission (CM) underscored the need for new Bishop to embrace servant leadership saying, “Episcopate means work and not honor, service and not being served.”


At the March 21 episcopal ordination event that took place at St. Anthony’s Cathedral of Mozambique's Gurué Diocese, the 78-year-old Bishop further urged the new Bishop to identify himself with Christ in his ministry by “proclaiming the Word of God in season and out of season, in prayer and in sacrifice.”

“Love the clergy and all the marginalized of society; be ready to listen to all with generosity and lead those who walk outside the fold,” Bishop Grachane who retired in April 2018 as Local Ordinary of Mozambique’s Nacala Diocese told the new Bishop.

The Mozambican Bishop who has been serving as Apostolic Administrator of Gurué further told the new Bishop to be concerned about the faithful of Gurué as well as those who do not yet know Jesus Christ, and to expend his energy “for communion and harmony within the college of Bishops of the whole world and of Mozambique in particular.”

Bishop Inácio Lucas Mwita who was ordained March 21 for the Diocese of Gurué is a member of the Clergy of Mozambique’s Nacala Diocese, where he was serving as Vicar General when Pope Francis appointed him Bishop last month.

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The 51-year-old Bishop has succeeded Bishop Francisco Lerma Martínez who passed on in April 2019.

In his maiden speech, Bishop Mwita expressed gratitude to Pope Francis for his confidence in him saying, “I thank the Holy Father, Pope Francis, who from the ends of my origins, there in Namapa, in my village where there is nothing, only people, trusted me.”

“Gurué is a very large Diocese with a high population density and many Catholics. I expect the collaboration of all the people of God in the Diocese of Gurué,” the new Mozambican Bishop said shortly in his maiden speech.


He continued, “The people of Gurué want a Shepherd who encourages them and who knows how to read the signs of time, who is in front to guide them, in the middle to support the weak, and behind to have a vision of his flock.” 

“I hope the people of God in Gurué will not fail to care for me as they cared for other Bishops who have passed through there,” Bishop Mwita went on to say.

He expressed his appreciation to members of the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique (CEM) and recalled the guidance he received from the Bishop of Xai-Xai who doubles as the President of CEM saying, “I received from him excellent orientations and proposals as the Rector of Saint Pius X Seminary.”

Among those who participated in the solemn event included Archbishop Pergiorgio Bertoldi, Apostolic Nuncio in Mozambique, over 10 Catholic Bishops, Members of Government including the Governor of Zambezia Province who represented the Head of State, as well as members of the Clergy, Religious, and a limited number of Christians in line with COVID-19 restrictions.

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In their collective message, members of the Diocesan Clergy of Gurué thanked Pope Francis for giving them a shepherd saying, “Our gratitude goes to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, who, looking at the needs of this diocesan family, has provided us with a new Bishop.”

“We want to manifest to Bishop Inácio, from now on, our welcome and our entire availability to collaborate with you, faithful to what the Spirit suggests to us for the growth of the people of God in Gurúè,” the members of the Clergy added.

Speaking on behalf of members of CEM, Bishop Lucio Andrice Muandula welcomed the new Bishop in their Episcopal Conference saying, “It is with great joy that the members of the Bishops' Conference welcome you as a member ... to be a Bishop means to be a pastor not only of the Diocese entrusted to you but for the whole world.”

“We come from almost every Diocese in the country,” Bishop Muandula said, and added addressing himself to Bishop Mwita, “Do not hesitate to ask for help from one of the Bishops.”

Gurué was erected as a Diocese from the episcopal see of Quelimane in December 1993.

Samuel Antonio and Teodoro Antonio De Abreu in Mozambique contributed to this news report

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.