Johannesburg, 22 January, 2023 / 9:52 pm (ACI Africa).
The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Mthatha in South Africa has urged Priests to celebrate their 10 years of Priesthood with modesty and to desist from spending a lot of effort in organizing huge celebrations.
In his opening address at the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) Plenary Assembly on Wednesday, January 18, Bishop Sithembele Anton Sipuka invited the Priests to benchmark with the Church’s Memorials and Feast Days in celebrating their anniversaries.
“I want to note a growing phenomenon of making huge celebrations for the priestly 10th anniversary. It is a sign of appreciating one’s Priesthood to celebrate any anniversary, but it should not be overdone,” Bishop Sipuka said.
He explained, “If the liturgy, with its ranks of feasts from ordinary to the optional memorial, memorial, feast, and solemnity, can be taken as a benchmark for celebrating anniversaries, one will understand that it means that we cannot be celebrating every anniversary as a solemnity.”
He appealed to Priests to guard against the culture of “wanting to be celebrated too much,” adding, “Failure to guard against this temptation will confirm the accusation of clericalism where we, as Priests and Bishops, expect to be treated differently from women Religious and the faithful who do not usually have a splash and a banquet feast of the 10th anniversary.”