Trained, Ordained & Ready To Serve
Great news from our partners in Gitega Diocese! On Sunday 31st January all the bishops from across Burundi gathered in and around St Luc’s Cathedral to celebrate the ordination of 28 priests, 25 deacons and 3 pastors.
Thanks to the generosity of Church of Ireland parishes, CMSI has supported the training of six of those ordained. Rev Jeanine, Rev Gaspard, Rev Jean Berchams and Rev Fidele completed their studies through Gitega Bible school and have been serving in rural parishes awaiting their ordination. Their studies were supported by St Hilda’s Kilmakee and Epiphany, Upper Malone. Rev Arsene and Rev Evariste, with support from All Saints', Belfast, have both just gained degrees in Theology at Bujumbura Christian University and will now begin their ministry.
Bishop Aimé Joseph expressed his delight at hosting the service, noting that Janine was one of the first two women to be ordained in the diocese. The occasion was a great community celebration. The Vice President of the Republic of Burundi, Prosper Bazombanza, was the guest of honour and in his speech recognised the great contribution made by the diocese in community development improving the lives of its people. He also called on every Christian to commit to supporting every good development initiative. Several other community leaders also attended, including the Governor of Gitega.
Retired Bishop John, well known to many in CMSI, attended and also addressed the company. The Christians of the diocese thanked Bishop Aimé Joseph for his pastoral and practical leadership by presenting him with a cow.
Bishop Aimé Joseph is looking forward to the time when global partner visits will once again be possible and says:
"Thank you CMS Ireland for your incredible support in these two years I have served as Diocesan Bishop."