As Deacons Omaris Valmond and Moses Kabuga Gikandi were consecrated priests for the Bridgetown diocese Saturday, July 3, ordaining prelate Bishop Neil Scantlebury stressed, “it is only now the real work begins”.
In delivering the homily at the St Patrick’s RC Cathedral, the same venue where the Bishop was ordained a mere three weeks ago, he beseeched the duo “don’t be afraid; embrace it…the Lord who has begun the good work in you will bring it to completion, so one day you will enjoy eternity in Heaven with all the saints.”
Bishop Scantlebury charged the newly ordained priests to cooperate with clergy in building a Kingdom of God in the diocese, seek guidance from Mary, frequent the Sacraments, pray the Mass daily and don’t just settle for being a “good priest.”
He joked with parishioners: “Do not look to boss my two young priests around. Do not even think it.” The Bishop asserted that the duo are young and will make mistakes, “but don’t tell them what to; suggest to them what to do.”
Bishop Scantlebury mentioned that the new priests will be assigned to their respective parishes in September. In the interim, Dominica-born Fr Valmond and Fr Gikandi, a Kenyan, will “bounce from parish to parish”.
In giving brief remarks at the end of the Mass, Fr Valmond extended thanks to Archbishop Jason Gordon for his support and guidance over the years. The Archbishop ordained the duo transitional deacons December 12, 2020, at the St Francis of Assisi RC, Sangre Grande. Fr Valmond then thanked the Bishop for bringing another “major milestone” to fulfilment that Saturday.
During the ordination, Frs Valmond and Gikandi received their first tool of appointment—a Mass kit from Bishop Scantlebury.
Fr Gikandi and Fr Valmond both celebrated their first Mass the following day, Sunday, July 4, at Sacred Heart of Jesus and Our Lady Queen of the Universe, respectively. —KJ