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Pope Benedict XVI honours three Priests from the Diocese of Makeni

By  | 24 December 2009 at 03:44 | 803 views

At a well attended Eucharistic ceremony held at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Makeni, parishioners, brother priests, religious as well as members of the general public witnessed the conferral of papal honours on three local priests. This brings the total to four in addition to Monsignor Daniel Kamara, the current Vicar General of the Diocese, who was the first to receive such recognition.

The ceremony which was presided by His Lordship Bishop Giorgio (George) Biguzzi of the Diocese of Makeni saw the elevation of Fathers Gabriel Harold Koroma, Joseph Abraham Bangura and John Denis Tarawalie to the rank of Monsignor.

The title of “Monsignor” was recommended by their Diocesan Bishop and approved by Pope Benedict XVI in recognition of the service the three priests have rendered to the church and the people of God especially in the Makeni Diocese which without a doubt, have been marked by challenges, successes, joy and periods of solitude.

There are three rankings of Monsignor; Chaplain to his Holiness, Honorary Prelate of His Holiness and Apostolic Protonary. Apostolic Protonary is considered the highest rank of monsignor. Per rules set by the Secretariat of State, the minimum qualifications that any priest must meet to be considered for such an appointment are thirty-five years of age and a decade of devoted priestly life.

After the reading of the papal scroll, each of the three monsignors, Koroma, Bangura and Tarawalie, received the papal document which was issued by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State conferring the honour. The diploma, as it is often called indicates the new title and rank and years of service to the church.

The new Monsignors who are now accorded the special privilege of wearing distinctive vesture from those worn by ordinary priests indicating their membership to the papal household have also been officially listed in the papal yearbook called Annuario Pontificio. Both Monsignors Gabriel Koroma and John Tarawalie are proud alumni of St. Francis Secondary School in Makeni.

*** Editor’s Note: Anthony Kamara, Jnr. is USA Bureau Chief for The Patriotic Vanguard. Stay tuned for a profile and an interview with each Monsignor from the Diocese of Makeni. For comments, he can be reached via email at ***