by Father Cleophas Braganza
VIRAR, DEC 19, 2016: Four young men belonging to three religious congregations - Father Ajay D'Monte SDB, Father Vishal Lopes SDB, Father Oswald Gonsalves OFMCAP and Father Robin D'Souza SJ - were ordained priests by Archbishop Felix Machado at Jyoti Mata church, Virar (west) on December 16.
The church grounds were packed with relatives, friends, colleagues and people from the various places where the four deacons had been working. Nearly a hundred priests came in procession to the altar together with the candidates for ordination, accompanied by their parents.
At Holy Mass which began at 5 pm, Archbishop Machado reminded those present that in these last few days before Christmas the Church prepares more zealously for the coming of the Lord, and the ordination of new priests was a sign that Christ is alive and present in the Church.
At the homily, he recalled the message of Pope Francis to priests, inviting the new priests to devote their life entirely to Christ and the service of the people. He said that every priest is called to be a living witness of the Gospel and like Jesus be a compassionate shepherd in the midst of his flock.
The ceremony was well animated by the choir which helped the people to participate prayerfully in the Holy Eucharist. The Provincials of the three congregations thanked the Lord and the formators for having accompanied the candidates and prepared them for ordination. They were grateful to Archbishop Machado, Father Royal Dabre, the people and the youth of Jyoti Mata church who had put in a lot of effort to prepare well for the occasion.
The attendees at the ordination mass were impressed by the large number of priests and religious present, most of whom were from the diocese of Vasai itself. The fact that three congregations worked together to prepare for this occasion was a good witness to unity and collaboration within the Church.
May the Lord inspire many young persons to generously offer themselves to work in his vineyard.