“Every high priest is appointed from among men to represent them in the matters relating to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins” (Hebrews 5:1). Being chosen among men priests bear the same experience of what it is to be human.
They strife for holiness every day in order to carry out effectively the role entrusted to them, to be at the service of the people of God; offering gifts and sacrifices not only for the people but also for themselves. Hence, it is never enough for priests to continuously undergo the process of ongoing formation. They are ever in need of God’s grace, the source of their power to confirm their yes to God and continue to dispense faithfully the mysteries of our faith.
It is the responsibility of the church and the people of God to support their shepherds through different ways to renew their commitment to God every day, so that there isn’t any moment of their life when they lose focus of their responsibility of leading the journey to holiness for those entrusted under their spiritual care.
Integrated formation of those who aspire to become Catholic Priests has been always the strife of the Catholic Church for ages until today. When the journey of first formation is completed and one is found worthy to ascend into a fully servitude stage, it doesn’t mean the achievement of perfection has been attained. In actual fact it is judged to be the beginning of the journey of service. It is from this moment that there is even a dire need to go extra miles for priests to hold on to their vocation, hence there is a need for ongoing formation.
It is of the basis of maintain the true identity of priesthood that the ordained continuously engage fully into the programs and processes of ongoing formation. They are given the opportunity of renewing themselves so that through them others may be renewed as well.
The annual programs for priests’ renewal are being organized by Southern
Africa Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) Department for the formation and Ministry of the Clergy, to give both diocesan and religious priests, under the conference, an opportunity to renew their priestly vocation; through sharing of priestly experiences and other important issues relating to priesthood in the world of today.
On the 26th May – 07th June 2019, the Annual Renewal Program for Priests was held at Coolock House in KwaZulu Natal. This the focus was on the Human Development and Pastoral Work Challenges.
Sr Hermenegild Makoro CPS, the SACBC Secretary General, who was one of the presenters during the program, was very happy about the success of the program, the faithfulness of the attending priests in attending the sessions and their commitment to prayer.
The program for the next Renewal Program will be announced in due time, and all priests under SACBC are encouraged to register and take the opportunity being part of the program.