Gratitude Magazine March 2015 Edition

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Holy Orders: Appreciated through Five Phrases

By Rev. Kpanie Addy, S.J.

On Saturday, 1st March 2014, I was ordained a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church. My diaconate ordination by Rev Kpanie Addy, SJ. Most Rev. Alfred Arap Rotich marked the penultimate step in my journey to the ministerial priesthood; a journey whose remote preparations began several years ago. The preparations, however, began with…

Arrupe Month – “Why do you tug so at my heart?”

For me, Arrupe Month was not great. My enduring memory is of the motley group of men who comprise my classmates playing soccer in the afternoons and watching movies at night. One such movie was The Thorn Birds, from which is derived the phrase above. The phrase is meaningful because it captures a lot of what Arrupe Month is about: determining, after all these years, what it is that tugs so at one’s heart. Ordained ministry in the Society of Jesus? For me, yes! Hence…

Diaconate Ordination – “With Joy and Gratitude”

There’s a riot of emotions as ordination approaches. One has to live it to know. I decided, finally, to focus on the two emotions proposed to me, not by my spiritual director, but by the words on the invitation card: joy and gratitude.

They were simply appropriate. Gratitude for so much of what I have experienced along the journey and joy at seeing the day come to pass. So, on ordination day, in spite of all the butterflies in my stomach, I genuinely felt intense joy and gratitude. And readiness to dispose myself to the graces of this sacrament of service, of… 

Diakonia – “…not to be served but to serve…”

Diakonia, the Greek root of the English word deacon, means service, ministering. That appeals to me, far more, I must hasten to say, than notions of being “elevated to the clerical state” and being addressed as “Reverend”. To my friends, I say: “Call me Kpanie, its more affectionate.” Since my ordination, I have been touched tremendously in my ministry – my diakonia – at Kenyatta Hospital. For one who is so cerebral, I have experienced compassion; now, more than before, when I read of Jesus’ experience of splagchnizomai – being moved in the inward parts – I can relate to this experience of compassion, borne of my ministry. Thus, I am being helped to…

“…teach what you believe…” – Preaching

Preaching, a fundamental component of my service as a deacon, does not come easy. Talk may be cheap but preaching certainly is not. It must proceed from God and the depths of one’s conviction and experience. Thus, hopefully the words of the Bishop when he handed the Book of Gospels to me may be accomplished: to believe, to teach, to practice. Surely, to fulfil all this, not least my public vow of celibacy, is not easy. But then…

“We rely on the help of the Lord God…” – Now and Always

I listened attentively for these words during my ordination. I believe that at my priestly ordination on 16th August this year, God-willing, they will be repeated. They console me tremendously. For, now and always, we rely on the help of God!

 

 

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