The project started a year ago. Arriving in the diocese of Manzini I realized that our “prayer book” was in Zulu and not in SiSwati. Last year, reflecting on my 30th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood, I thought of doing something for the diocese. It would be “my way” of celebrating this anniversary.
Pope Francis’ words in 2015 addressing a conference marking the 50th anniversary of Vatican II’s decree on the ministry and life of priests and on priestly training, expressed why I chose to do it in this way:
we are not priests for ourselves, and our own sanctification is closely linked to that of our people, our anointment with theirs. You have been anointed for your people. Knowing and remembering that we are ordained for the people, the holy people of God, helps priests not to think of themselves, to be authoritative, not authoritarian; firm but not hard; joyful but not superficial: in short, pastors, not functionaries.
The booklet is now ready and it is being sold very quickly. Announcing it at the Cathedral at the end of the Palm Sunday Mass I explained it is the fruit of the work of many people: priests and laity. Some known, some unknown to many. It involved: choosing the prayers, translations, corrections, design, type of paper and binding, printing company… Each one offered his or her expertise and lots of time and work.
Their names are nowhere to be seen in the booklet. A big thank you to each one of them for this generous service to our diocese!