Archbishop ordains 7 Diocesan Priests at the Se Cathedral on Friday
Archbishop-Patriarch of Goa and Daman Most Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrão on Friday exhorted the seven newly ordained diocesan priests to focus on prayer, the Word of God and service in their daily lives, as they embark on their mission of ministerial priesthood.
He was delivering his homily during the ordination ceremony of Fr Agustin Alfonso, Fr Joism de Souza, Fr Walter D’Souza, Fr William D’Souza, Fr Reagan Fernandes, Fr Joseph Gama and Fr Vaizel Pereira at the Se Cathedral, Old Goa.
The occasion also marked the felicitation of two priests, Fr Urbano Fernandes and Fr Cleto Pereira, who celebrated their golden sacerdotal jubilees and five priests, Fr Filipe Neri Dias, Fr Simiao Fernandes, Fr Polly Lobo, Fr Sebastiao Nazareth and Fr Eusico Pereira, who celebrated their silver sacerdotal jubilees.
A large number of priests, nuns and lay faithful were present at the ceremony, which was conducted on the theme “Kristant sogllem ektthavunk, Tacho mog amkam thar dinam” (Love of Christ urges us to gather everyone and everything in Christ). The choir during the ceremony was led by Fr Romeo Monteiro.
“We are in the Easter season. Jesus suffered, died and rose again. For this reason, we are joyful. Another reason to be joyful is that we have seven young men who are saying ‘Yes’ to the Lord. The Risen Jesus, long back, called them in their families and today, after much preparation, these seven brothers of us received this ministerial priesthood,” said Archbishop Ferrão.
Referring to the Gospel, Bishop recalled the words of Jesus “You have not chosen me but I have chosen you”.
In their priesthood, Archbishop Ferrão urged the newly ordained priests to pay attention to three aspects in their daily lives.
He highlighted the importance of prayer as the first aspect, which included Personal Prayer to grow in Jesus, Community Prayer and Prayer of the Church.
Archbishop Ferrão also advised them to focus on the second aspect of ‘Word of God’, to read the Word of God faithfully, to teach others what has been read and to practice what they have taught to others.
“Thus, be not only Messengers of God’s Word, but be very Message of God’s Word. This could be attained by teaching catechism, preaching the Word of God, conducting faith formation activities, visiting families, having inter-religious dialogue.”
Further more, he asked them to hold on to the tenants of faith, administrating sacraments, enhancing devotions, etc.
On the third aspect, Archbishop Ferrão emphasised the importance of service.
“Though Jesus was Son of God, yet he empted himself to be a servant of others and thus called them to reach out to others,” he said.
Sighting the example of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, Archbishop Ferrão asked the newly ordained priests to do likewise by reaching out to the poor, sick, lonely, those neglected, those gone astray, etc.
“There is a big challenge ahead of us, but we have also a model in St Joseph Vaz, who faced these challenges through his Prayer Life, Word of God and Service,” said Archbishop Ferrão.