Mustard Seed Communities (MSC) celebrated the ordination of Fr Ernest Chikwata at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity in Kingston, Jamaica, September 8. The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Kenneth Richards of Kingston and Archbishop Emeritus Donald Reece. Family and friends of Fr Ernest joined in the occasion alongside MSC residents, caregivers, mission volunteers, and staff. According to mustardseed.com, viewers from around the globe, particularly from Zimbabwe and the United States prayed virtually over a livestream.
“It was a momentous celebration of the faith and spirituality present among members of the Mustard Seed community,” the article said.
Fr Ernest is the first priest to complete his discernment process in the St Andrew’s House of Formation located at Jacob’s Ladder, MSC’s apostolate in Moneague, Jamaica. The formation house opened in May 2019 and has since hosted seminarians and novices.
It stands as part of MSC’s mission to establish a canonical body called the Mustard Seed Missionaries, a Society of Apostolic Life which will guide and promote the spirituality at the heart of the organisation’s mission. Fr Ernest is the second priest to be ordained in this body, joining Fr Philp Omondi.
After spending a few years in Zimbabwe, he then came to Jamaica where he did his academic formation. Fr Ernest was ordained deacon February 2, 2022 and served for six months as a deacon.
He commented there are so many people who played a vital role in the years of his formation, especially his mother who prayed for him every single day. Becoming a priest, he said, was not in his plan as a child, but it was in God’s plan.
“For me, priesthood is about serving God and His people. My hope is to be able to help people recognise God’s grace in their lives and spread His love through works of mercy, and also to care for the most vulnerable in our society. I am just an instrument that God is using to spread His message to His people,” Fr Ernest said.