by Karen Laurie
MUMBAI, DEC 18, 2017: The Salesian congregation of the province of Mumbai and the Catholic Church were gifted with two new priests, Father Evangelo D'Souza and Father Ranson D'Souza, through their priestly Ordination at the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna in Mumbai on December 16.
"Among the liturgies of the Church, the Sacrament of Ordination is one of the most impressive," Bishop Agnelo Gracias, said. Bishop Gracias presided over the Sacrament, in the presence of over 40 priests and a packed congregation.
The Rite of Ordination commenced with the Superior testifying to the Bishop that the candidates were worthy; following which the Bishop accepted to ordain them. The candidates then resolved to live their priestly commitment by celebrating the mysteries of the faith, preaching the Word of God and serving the people. They further made a vow of obedience to their religious community, the Bishop and the Church.
The candidates prostrated themselves as the Litany of Saints was sung, uniting in prayer, the Church in heaven and on earth. Through the laying of hands, the Bishop invoked the Holy Spirit and prayed the prayer of Consecration, reminding all how God has always provided ministers for the Church. With the investiture of the stole and chasuble, anointing of hands with chrism and presentation of paten and chalice by the Bishop, the Church welcomed two new priests.
In his homily, Bishop Gracias spoke of the mission of the newly ordained priests. "What does it take to be a priest of God? Today's readings taken from the third Sunday of Advent, spelt out so beautifully, 'The Spirit of the Lord, has been given to me. He has anointed me.' In the Old Testament who were anointed? Priests, prophets, kings. All those sent for a mission. What is that mission which will be given to Father Evangelo and Father Ranson? Isaiah speaks of it in a three-fold form, to proclaim the good news to the poor, to heal those who are broken hearted, to set at liberty captives. That mission fits in so well with their very names. Evangelo remind us of evangelisation and proclamation of the Word. And Ranson is linked with liberation. Ransom was paid for the liberation of slaves. And the New Testament reminds us that Jesus himself paid a ransom of his own blood to liberate us," Bishop Gracias, said.
Salesian Provincial Father Godfrey D'Souza, thanked Bishop Gracias for ordaining the new priests for the religious order. "One of the reasons Bishop likes to come here to the campus, is because he was ordained Bishop in this very Shrine, " Father D'Souza, said.
The new priests, Father Evangelo and Ranson, thanked the Bishop, their Salesian superiors and confreres, family and the gathering for their support through their years of formation, through to Ordination.
The Kiss of the Peace by the Bishop and the customary kissing of hands of the newly anointed priests was testimony to the reverence for the Sacrament of Holy Orders in the hearts of those present.