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2021 Ordinations – Message from the Apostolic Administrator

Date preached June 10, 2022


Bishop Paul Ssemwogerere

Dear People of God,

We must be grateful to the Almighty God for this yet another abundant harvest of our brothers into the Lord’s vineyard. It is my pleasure to convey my congratulatory message to my brother priests, religious, parents, guardians, relatives, all Christians of our Archdiocese and above all to our deacons and priests to be ordained for reaching this unforgettable day in our Archdiocese and in your lives.

Our dear parents, guardians and benefactors of those to be ordained I say, thank you for your support to your children and now our brothers in priesthood. The Vocations team led by Rev. Fr. Ronnie Mubiru and formators of different seminaries, you have seen our brothers grow; spiritually, morally, socially and academically. From your selfless efforts, the Lord is giving us more workers in His ministry.

We are experiencing many adversities due to the effect of the pandemic in the whole world. In the Gospel, despite all the sufferings and difficulties, we must always run to God, because he is love. What does God require of us? Simply that we love as God loves! God is love, and everything our Creator does flows from love for us (1 John 4:7-21). The love of God comes first and the love of neighbor is firmly grounded in the love of God. (Mark 12:30-31). Faith in God and hope in God’s promises strengthen us in the love of God and care for our neighbor.

God does not abandon us; God goes with us, even now in this time of trial and testing. In this moment, it is important for us to anchor our hearts in the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. Now is the time to intensify our prayers and sacrifices for the love of God and the love of our neighbor. Jesus experienced the full measure of human suffering. The Lord suffered and died for us and for our salvation, and, no matter what befalls us, be it sickness or tribulations, our hope in Jesus’ love will not disappoint us.

Our brothers who are to be elevated to the Order of priests and deacons, have carefully discerned this vocation, and voluntarily chose to bear the burden of Sacred Orders. It is true that God has made his entire holy people a royal priesthood in Christ, (1 Pt 2: 9-10). Nevertheless, our great Priest himself, Jesus Christ, chose certain disciples to carry out publicly in his name, and on behalf of mankind, a priestly office in the Church. For Christ was sent by the Father and he in turn sent the Apostles into the world, so that through them and their successors, the Bishops, he might continue to exercise his office of Teacher, Priest, and Shepherd, (CCC. No.1592).

In being configured to Christ the eternal High Priest and joined to the priesthood of the Bishops, they will be consecrated as true priests and deacons of the New Testament, to preach the Gospel, to shepherd God’s people, and to celebrate the sacred Liturgy, especially the Lord’s sacrifice.

“see that you believe what you read, that you teach what you believe, and that you practice what you teach”

Dear brothers, for your part, you will exercise the sacred duty of teaching in the name of Christ the Teacher. Impart to everyone the word of God which you have received with joy. Guided by the ten commandments, see that you believe what you read, that you teach what you believe, and that you practice what you teach. In this way, let what you teach be nourishment for the people of God. Let the holiness of your lives be a delightful fragrance to Christ’s faithful, so that by word and example you may build up the house which is God’s Church.

You will exercise in Christ the office of sanctifying. For by your ministry the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful will be made perfect, being united to the sacrifice of Christ, which will be offered through your hands in an unbloody way on the altar, in union with the faithful, in the celebration of the sacraments. Understand, therefore, what you do and imitate what you celebrate. As celebrants of the mystery of the Lord’s death and resurrection, strive to put to death whatever in your members is sinful and to walk in newness of life.

Exercising for your part the office of Christ, Head and Shepherd, while united with the Bishop and subject to him, strive to bring the faithful together into one family, so that you may lead them to God the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit. Keep always before your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd who came not to be served but to serve, and who came to seek out and save what was lost.

Finally, may God’s blessings be upon you, we pray as you walk the journey of life in the Holy Priesthood of Christ our love and prayers will follow you our blessings will support you. May you remain faithful to Him forever and be a blessing to all. Amen.

†Paul Ssemogerere