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Diocese of Antsiranana
(Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean)
The combined choirs of Vohemar and Diego Suarez
Photo No. : P071206-3
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The congregation packed the Cathedral to overflowing during the ordination service
Photo No. : P071206-4
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The newly ordained deacons kneel in prayer with the bishop and other clergy
Photo No. : P071206-5
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Ordination of Ten Deacons and Four Priests in St Matthew's Cathedral, Antsiranana
By Bishop Roger Chung Jaomalaza
December 6, 2007

[Diocese of Antsiranana - Indian Ocean] The Cathedral of St Matthew was jubilant on the Sunday 2nd December 2007 when ten deacons and four priests were ordained by the Bishop of Antsiranana, the Rt Revd Roger Chung Jaomalaza, amidst the overflowing congregation in the new Cathedral.

Prior to the start of the clergy procession, the congregation gathered in the Cathedral compound adjacent to the Bishop K Benzies Kilasimandry, where Bishop Roger, Prof Gareth Jones of Canterbury and the Dean of the Cathedral laid the foundation stone of the Pastoral and Theological Centre of Antsiranana diocese. The United Thanks Offering of USA (UTO) granted help to put up this resource and empowerment venue for the vision of mission and evangelisation in Madagascar.

The colourful service saw a great participation of the diocesan evangelists and the clergy who had been trained during the week-end by the teachers from Christchurch University in Canterbury Diocese. The leaders in evangelism had come from the four corners of the diocese, some travelling for three days. The new learning had edified their faith for service in the Church and in the world at large, as Prof Gareth Jones and Rev Christopher Race touched on important issues relevant to ministry. To embellish the service, the choir of Vohemar Church was especially invited to lead the singing in collaboration with the Cathedral choir.

In his sermon, the bishop focused on his vision of the diocese taking his inspiration from 1 Peter 2:9 but you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. He spoke of the importance of the identity of the dynamic Christian whose witness is based on his inheritance from the One who calls, sends and empowers us by the Holy Spirit to go out in the mission field and to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ Our Lord. The Diocese of Antsiranana is indeed favoured as the Lord of the harvest sends more labourers to bring in the harvest in the vast territories of the diocese.

The Revd Octave Sola, Rector of Daraina Parish, was the chaplain to the ordinands and prepared them for their retreat. The four priests ordained are the Revds Mahavory Norbert (Anaboran Ifasy), Andriamasy Frank (Rector of the school in Ampanefena), Daniel (Antalaha) and Jaovola (Vohemar). Revd Jaovola is the son of the Canon Paul Bert Jaozandry, parish priest of Vohemar parish.

The ten newly ordianed deacons are Sadraka Ambroise (Sambava), Barjaona Fledo (Fanambana), Jaovita Vonjimihafy (Antsiranana), Felix Bekamisy (Ankoby), Bory Rinaldo (Antsiranana), Rabenantoandro Fresnel (Ambilobe), Denis Malakia (Ambarakaraka), Toto Fidele (Ampanefena ), Victor Bekamisy (Anaborano Ifasy) and Arsene Gerson (Andapa).

After the service all the evangelists and clergy were given the bags of used clothes to take back to their parishes. These gifts were donated by Bishop Santosh Marray and the people of the Diocese of Seychelles to the Diocese of Antsiranana after the devastation of the cyclone. Poverty in the greater part of the diocese and in Madagascar is still a challenge that the Diocese of Antsiranana has to face and... a friend in need is a friend indeed. Praise the Lord!