by Cl. Richard Burkhao, sdb
PUNE–MAHARASHTRA, FEBRUARY 18, 2014: On Saturday, 9th February, 2014, 9 seminarians (5 Salesians, 2 Capuchins and 2 Diocesans) were ordained deacons by Rt. Rev Bishop Thomas Dabre, Bishop of Poona Diocese, at The Sacred Heart Parish, Yerwada, Pune.
The Salesian deacons were Ajay Shelke, Johnson Kshirsagar, Kiran Salve (Mumbai province), Renvick Pereira and Patrick Dias (Konkan province). Present at the altar were Fr. Godfrey D’ Souza, sdb provincial of Salesian province of Mumbai; Fr. Amrut Fonseca, OFM Cap, provincial of Capuchin province of Maharashtra, and 40 other priests. The solemn Eucharist began at 5: 30 pm with melodious singing by the brothers of Don Bosco Youth Centre, Koregaon Park, Pune.
During the homily His Grace, Bishop Dabre admired the courage and dedication of these young men for coming forward to offer their service and life to the people of God, in the midst of a world full of pleasure and worldly things. He also spoke of how the vocation to holy orders entails a life of service to Christ in the world. His Grace reminded them that they are men of God and not mere social workers. Since the majority of the people were from Marathi speaking background, His Grace also preached in Marathi. Keeping in line with the motto of the deacons i.e. ‘Called to serve like Jesus”, His Grace exhorted the faithful to imitate Jesus Christ, the true and perfect of model of service.
On behalf of all the newly ordained deacons, deacon Johnson Kshirsagar thanked Bishop Dabre, the provincials and superiors, parents and relatives and friends for their constant care and support and asked them to continue to keep them in their prayers as they journey towards priesthood.