by Karen Laurie
MUMBAI, DEC 19, 2015: The newly restored Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna in Mumbai served as a perfect backdrop, as the Church and the Mumbai Province of the Salesian Society of Don Bosco came together to celebrate the priestly ordination of Father Leon Rodrigues and Father Crescens Lemos, on December 19.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the main celebrant, captured the significance of the occasion by calling it 'the most transformative day' in not just the lives of Father Rodrigues and Father Lemos, but also in the society at large. "You will lead to the transformation of the world," Cardinal Gracias said, adding, "The Priesthood of 2015 is the most challenging task of society, as you have the opportunity to transform the world."
Among those present at the altar for the solemn Ordination ceremony was Father Godfrey D'Souza, Salesian Provincial, Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial and over 30 priests from the Mumbai province. Family, friends and well wishers of Father Rodrigues and Father Lemos filled the pews - of the shrine - in their numbers to add to the celebratory mood.
At the end of the ceremony, Father Rodrigues thanked God and those present for making the day possible. "Thank you dear God for choosing us and never letting us go, you held us by the hand. It is because of you, dear Lord, we are," he said.
Father D'Souza thanked the families of the newly ordained priests for their role in formation. "Thank you very much for gifting your son to the Church and our congregation. God has never been outdone his generosity," he said.