Zambia Chrism Mass: Bishop tells priests to care for and protect older persons.
Radio Yangeni – Mansa, Zambia.
Speaking Wednesday during Chrism Mass celebrated in Mansa's Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, Bishop Chisanga said priests should care for and protect older persons. He said, in fact, championing the cause of the elderly should be among a priest’s pastoral priorities.
Embrace older persons and defend them
"Dear priests, as you go back to your pastoral placements, renewed in your configuration to Christ who called you and sent you to perpetuate his mission here on earth, I ask you to pay particular attention and care to the elders in your communities. The Diocese of Mansa is celebrating the Year of the Elderly. Through, you dear priests, let older persons experience the embrace of Christ's love, especially when they feel frail or weak, unappreciated … visit them, engage them, and involve them in the life and ministry of your community," said Bishop Chisanga.
Be father and mother to all
The Bishop urged priests to tap into the vast experiences of older persons so that they too could continue to serve the church and society at large. "Be champions of their welfare. Defend the elderly from all forms of violence and negligence and misery, "said the Mansa prelate.
He added that a priest is addressed as "Father" in society and must therefore exhibit those father–mother nurturing qualities. For Bishop Chisanga, these priestly qualities should not be confined to the Catholic lay faithful. The priest must feel compelled to extend his love, charity and listening heart to all people regardless of their faith.