The young Comboni Missionaries Stefano Trevisan, 35, and Emmanuel Kasika, 30, were ordained to the diaconate by the imposition of hands and the consecratory prayer of Auxiliary Bishop Lucio Lemmo of Naples, in the parish of St. Cajetan of Thiene in Pescopagano, Italy. During the next few months Stefano will belong to the community of priests and brothers students in Rome in order to finish his license thesis and will then receive his destination in October. Emmanuel will remain in Rome as well to finish his second year of licentiate prior to be assigned to the missions.
In his homily, the bishop stated that no one should feel like a stranger in the Church, and stressed the importance of prayer in the life of a missionary. He also said that, to be a deacon, to be of service, does not mean to rush to and fro in unbridled activism, but that the missionary activity must be born from a personal and deep encounter with the Lord experienced in prayer, in a long dialog with God. The action and the contemplation of a missionary deacon go hand in hand.
Referring to the day of his diaconate, Stefano Trevisan a native of Bolzano, said that for him “it was a true joy to be ordained with Emmanuel Kasika,” in the parish where for four years he performed his weekend ministry in the Ghana community of Pescopagano. “I thought of our founder, St Daniel Comboni,” added Stefano, “who in heaven certainly rejoiced knowing that two more young people were happy to give their lives to Jesus, for the Gospel and for Mission.”
“It was my strong desire,” said the young missionary, “to celebrate the ordination to the diaconate in a land that for years has been living through dramatic problems that are not kept away even from our brothers and sisters who have migrated into Italy. Thus, we decided, at a time when our country is marked by politics of exclusion, to give a sign that it is possible to live together as people who are different in the color of their skin, the language and the country, and that the Church is called to be the sign of this universal love doing away with frontiers and borders. I felt accompanied by the songs in the Twi language of our parishioners from Ghana and for a while, though in Italy, I breathed Africa.” He then concluded “I can only thank the Lord for the gift of my vocation and for having been able to live five unforgettable years in study and prayer in the scholasticate of Casavatore, Naples, and my pastoral activity at Castel Volturno and Pescopagano.
Emmanuel Kasika was also filled with with joy: “It was a great day… Personally, even before this celebration, during these three weeks of spiritual preparation for it, together with my perpetual vows and the best wishes of my friends, I felt a great interior joy leading me to spontaneous service. I experienced this joy even more in the celebration itself both thanks to the encouraging words of the bishop and the closeness of many Comboni confreres and many other people I met in Naples during my four years as a scholastic.”
Emmanuel was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and, consequently, had no parents, relatives or his Congolese friends there during ordination. Just the same, he said: “I felt surrounded by a lot of affection on the part of those relatives the Lord promises to those who leave it all to follow him. This celebration, so well animated by the communities of Italy and Ghana, made me experience even more the beauty of spending my life for the Gospel. I hope that this internal joy, born of the fact that the Lord has cast his gaze on me, may last because only this way will I be able to be a faithful servant.”