Today, twelve years ago, I was ordained a priest and emotions are still fresh in my mind. It was the most important day of my life. I looked around my family and friends gathered for the occasion and some of them gave me an impression they were happier than me and wondered if this could be possible because, in my head and mind, it was my day and not theirs. I was wrong in my mind. After my ordination, I realized that it is other people who make us happy in ministry. It is first and foremost God, our family members, and the communities we serve.
Twelve years come and are gone; I would be lying if I said that I kept the same joy of my ordination. Like all of us here, I complained because roses have thorns and I rejoiced because the thorns have roses.
Today, as I thank God for the 12 years of grace, I think of my family and friends, my fellow priests, and all those who have been part of my journey and my history. I thank Him for all of you here because you too are part of my story.
If you ask me if I am happy as an SMA priest, a question I cherish but do not hear it often enough, I will say yes! If you asked me if I wanted to continue as a priest, the answer is also in the affirmative!
If you asked me what has sustained me over the past 12 years, the answer is the grace of God, personal and communal prayers, and the support of family and friends like you.
Finally, I would like to share with you my conviction about being a priest. “God is not really interested in our abilities or inabilities, but in our availability.” If I am a good priest, but I am not available for others, of what good is my priesthood? Today I invite you to join me in prayer for the grace of God, so that I may continue to be available and attentive to all those whom He has entrusted to my service. To remain true to the call that our venerable founder Melchior de Marion Bréssillac reminded us so strongly: “My work will continue as long as there is a willingness to continue, and you are that willingness.”
Fr. Dominic Wabwireh, SMA