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Church welcomes Simon Peter

News day / Ango, who is of mixed Nigerian and Trinidadian heritage, was ordained in a two-and-a-half hour long ceremony, celebrated by Archbishop Joseph Harris at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Independence Square, Port-of-Spain.

Ango took his vow before a large congregation which included priests, other members of the clergy and parishioners from as far away as Fishing Pond, Manzanilla, Biche and parts of south Trinidad.

Delivering the homily, Harris, alluding to the growing need for vocations to the priesthood, hailed the ordination as a welcomed reprieve for the Church.

“It is a moment of thanksgiving because the God which never leaves his flock unattended, once again smiles on us and gives us help for work in the vineyard,” he said.

Harris told Ango his main priority as a priest was to God, not worldly trappings.

“Simon Peter, your first and primary allegiance must be to God, the living God, the God of the prophets. Do not follow the culture and let the false Gods of power and money and pleasure and popularity ensnare you.” He also urged Ango to lead by example.

“Teach what you believe and put into practice what you teach.

Let the example of your life attract the followers of Jesus the Christ. In other words, Brother Simon, be a man of prayer and action.” The Archbishop told the newly- ordained priest the confessional must be seen as his second home rather than a place to reprimand sinners.

“As Pope Francis says, ‘Do not make the confessional a torture chamber’,” he said.

Harris also gave Ango some useful guidelines in executing his ministry.

“Be an instrument of peace in the community where you work.

The church is meant to be an agent of that harmony for which Jesus Christ gave his life on the Cross.

“And always with your people, devise strategies which will make your communities hospitable places __ places which will be attractive to others and welcome that care and concern of the Risen Lord for them.” The priesthood, Harris told Ango, was not about power and status but a “complete emptying of self by taking the form of a servant.” Ango celebrates his first Mass at 10 am today at St Paul/St Peter’s RC Church, Mayaro.

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