The new priests (June 29, 2023) | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

The new priests (June 29, 2023)


“They shared our life simply and humbly, which made me wonder, “Who are these friars? This life seems beautiful.” Amose in 30 years old. He is the first of 5 siblings and was born and grew up in Malawi. He attended the Franciscan parish and knew the friars from a very young age. Ten years ago he made the decision to enter the Order. “In our culture. The first son has to continue the family, but my parents accepted my decision immediately.” In 2019, he was sent to the Holy Land to study Theology. After ordination, he will return to his Province (St Francis in Africa, Madagascar and Mauritius). “Seeing and touching the things that we read about in the Bible helps the faith and will help me in my mission.”


Joseph comes from Kenya, he is 32 years old and the second last of 6 siblings. He grew up in a Catholic family and in a Franciscan parish. “Wherever there was someone suffering, poor or marginalized, the friars were always there. This is what attracted me.” Ten years ago, he started out on the religious life. He arrived in the Holy Land in 2019 for Theology studies. During the year he lost both his parents, without being able to go home because of the pandemic. After ordination, he will return to his Province (St Francis  in Africa, Madagascar and Mauritius). “Being in the Holy Land is a blessing. It is a place that speaks about me and about how God loved me. I will carry it in my heart and to the people I am sent to.”


Becoming a priest had been his wish ever since he was a child. Philippe comes from  Burundi, he is 33 years old and the last of 6 siblings. An altar boy in his parish church, he entered the minor seminary at 13. This was a decision supported by his mother, but hindered by his brothers and sisters. He got to know the Franciscans through reading and films. “I was attracted by Francis’s way of living.” After the seminary, he entered the Order. After his studies in the Holy Land, his wish is coming true: “Being a priest is not a job, but an experience of life. It will help me to live my Franciscan vocation.” After ordination, Philippe will return to his Province (St Francis in Africa, Madagascar and Mauritius).


He will always remember when, as a Franciscan novice, his father knelt in front of him and asked for his forgiveness for not having accepted his vocation from the very beginning. “I did not know that I was fighting God,” he said to him. Jean, 40 years old, comes from Congo-Brazzaville and is the first of 7 brothers and sisters. He already worked and contributed to the family expenses when he decided to become a friar. Unlike many African priests, he was able to study and be ordained in the Holy Land: “It is a grace that God that has given to my life.” Before returning to his Province (Our Lady of Africa), he thanks the Custody of the Holy Land, which welcomes so many African students: “They have taken care of us in everything: it is a gesture of love, and also a sign of the unity of the Church.”