The week of 4 – 10 May 2020 was one of preparation for the ministries of lector and acolyte in the Inter-African Scholasticate Emmaus (DRC). This preparation began on Thursday the 7th, with a session of formation on the spiritual theology of ministries in the Church. It was provided by Father Noel Mayamba sss, whose teaching opened us to understand the origin of the ministries that had already begun in the Old Testament. He emphasised that service is the foundation of the Church’s ministries. While ministries in the Church differ, however, the common denominator of all of them is “SERVICE”. This “SERVICE” must be supported by the momentum of our consecration irrespective of the charisms. In explaining the function of lector, he pointed out that this service is to proclaim the Word of God in the liturgical assembly and that of acolyte is a service of worship which is completed in “ite misa est”.
Under the direction of Father Jean-Willy, the Rector of the house, and his collaborators, on Friday of the same week we had the celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation with Father Jean-Paul Ilundu sss who enabled us to approach the Lord.
On Sunday, 10 May 2020, the fifth Sunday of Eastertide in Year A, the Mass of conferring the ministries of lector and acolyte was presided by Father Anaclet Bambala, the Superior of the Province of Isidore Bakanja, in the parish church of Blessed Anuarite. The scholastic brothers who received the ministries on this day are: Lectors: Brothers Laurindho Agostino Candieiro, Rhoston Racevy Mounsalat, Emerlin Albareche Mbongo, Blaise Julien Kevin Sagna. Acolytes: Brothers Berna Allea Mampouya, Stéphane Amoïkon Ngessan, Marcel Valières Bissouaki, Victor Youga Faye, Fiston Gérard Mangala.
It must be pointed out that this Mass of conferral of the ministries lost its important significance because of the situation prevailing worldwide, namely, the Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed, it comprised the scholasticate community with two of our confreres: Father Vital parish priest of the Martyrs of Uganda parish and Father Magloire; the Mass being animated by five faithful.
Father Provincial reminded us in his homily of the meaning of service. Lectors and acolytes must render service in humility and respect while keeping in mind that this ministry which the Church has entrusted to them is not the power to crush the Christian faithful, whom they are called, appointed to serve. “You are appointed Lectors for the service of the Word, you are called to enlighten your brothers and sisters; appointed Acolytes to help the deacon in the service of the table and to accompany the priest, not in walking about but in service” dixit. Appointed in a context of being confined, in a church with empty pews, acolytes of confinement, you are like a spark that is called to shine in the world by the service that the Church has entrusted to you.”
At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, Father Jean Willy Mupila, the Rector of the community, thanked first of all Father Provincial for his availability, and through him the African Conference. Then he also thanked the confreres who agreed to come and share with us the joyous occasion. The choir was warmly thanked for their commitment despite the situation the world is experiencing. The day ended with a fraternal meal shared in elegant sobriety by a very small number.
Brother Boniface Wagane Faye sss