Byo Catholic Church ordains five new priests
Leonard Ncube, columnist
AFTER several postponements due to successive closures, the Roman Catholic Church of Bulawayo finally ordained five priests on Saturday following the Cabinet green light for churches to organize services for vaccinated members.
The church urged members to take the government’s call for immunization seriously as it is the only way to save lives and prevent new cases, which will then allow churches to resume normal services.
The ordination of Fr. Jacob Sibelo, Fr. Given Ncube, Fr. Bernard Nkomo, Fr. Lovemore Tichaona Makore and Fr. Preashard Mlalazi took place at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mary, Archdiocese of Bulawayo.
Only church and family members vaccinated from the ordained news were allowed as the church observed strict Covid-19 protocols in accordance with the Cabinet resolution.
Social distancing was observed both inside and outside the church building, while details of each person who entered the premises were recorded to allow contact tracing in case of positive case.
While all the participants had lunch after the ordination mass, people quickly dispersed to allow the premises to be disinfected.
In accordance with the procedure of the Catholic Church, the new priests celebrated their first Mass yesterday in their respective parishes before their assignment to new stations.
Head of the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Bulawayo, Archbishop Alex Thomas encouraged church members to get vaccinated.
“There were a lot of postponements and when the government announced that we could open for vaccinated members, we took the opportunity and only had a week to prepare. We are grateful for everyone’s hard work. Normally the ordination takes place in June or July, but we couldn’t have it because of the lockdown, ”Archbishop Thomas said.
He said church leaders were happy to see vaccinated members fill the cathedral, a sign that people are heeding the government’s call.
“It is encouraging to see so many Catholics who have been fully immunized, which is why we encourage everyone to do so and to protect lives and the church. From what we’ve seen so far, in three weeks we could get all members vaccinated as people are burning to go back to church, ”he said.
Some churches have yet to open because members had not yet been fully immunized when Cabinet allowed churches to resume service a few weeks ago.
Church leaders and members who violate health protocols are at risk of arrest and prosecution.
Zimbabwe had recorded 122,487 cumulative cases, 4,236 deaths and 106,366 recoveries on Saturday.
A total of 2,301,641 people had received their first dose while 1,450,981 had been fully immunized. – @ncubeleon