The women's choir of the Ekenyi Parish in Wembo Nyama celebrated the ordination of Albert Shuyaka.

Immediately after Albert Shuyaka’s ordination on July 17, he thanked Bishop Djomo, his family, and the priests and people of the Diocese of Tshumbe for supporting him during his years of formation.  Peter Nugent was asked to say a few words, and even I took up the microphone with a speech in French (incroyable!) about how proud St. John’s Seminary was of Albert.  It was fortunate that Father Crispin Otshudiema, the Vicar General, was at my right elbow, correcting my French in whispers.

These six musicians sang to a rhythmic beat.

I began by talking about how Albert had arrived in California in August of 2005 with little more than a year of English at the Congo-American Language Institute.  In the course of his time at St. John’s Seminary, he served at a variety of U.S. parishes and earned two master’s degrees, one in Divinity and the other in Religion.  The faculty had applauded his thesis on the Greek concept of divinization, the idea that God shares the divine life itself with human beings.

The newly-ordained Fr. Shuyaka, Bishop Djomo, Msgr. Nugent, and Mark Fischer after Albert's ordination.

Albert was chosen to be the valedictorian of his class, addressing the faculty, his fellow graduates, and their families and friends at the seminary’s commencement exercises.  I said that the seminary was proud of him, and his family and friends should be as well.  Everyone clapped, which was a great relief to me.  My French wasn’t polished, but I think it was comprehensible.

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