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Six New Priests Ordained for the Province of Chennai

By Father Louis Kumpiluvelil SDB  - 1 Comments
Chennai, Dec. 29. Six seminarians of the Chennai Salesian Province were ordained priests on Tuesday 27 December 2016, at St. Francis Xavier's Church, Broadway, Chennai, by the Most Rev. Dr. George Antonysamy  DD, Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore. Joining the Bishop in the moving two-and-a-half-hour long ceremony were some 120 priests, scores of religious and thousands of people, including parents and relatives of the newly ordained.
Father Jayapalan Raphael, Provincial of Chennai, welcomed the ordaining prelate and the six candidates for ordination, namely, Deacons Lourduraj Savari, Robert Inniyasi, Rosario Devadoss, Vincent Prabu, Regan Jude Mariasusai, and Selvaraj Xavier Raj. Father Albert Johnson, Provincial of the Salesian Province of Tiruchy, presented the candidates to the ordaining prelate and to the people.

The Archbishop in his homily highlighted the uniqueness and grandeur of the call to Priesthood. He put it thus to the candidates for ordination: if you had to submit a "curriculum vitae" for your ordination, what would it be like? To begin with, the Archbishop explained, you would give a clear objective or aim, followed by your qualifications, and then your experience and achievements. Then the archbishop explained each of these points.

Referring to the "Aim" of priesthood, he said, is to be "Alter Christus" (another Christ) in today's world. It means taking on the likeness of Christ by cultivating a deep and personal friendship with Him throughout one's life. This objective, said the Archbishop, cannot be achieved without a deep personal prayer life, quoting Pope Benedict XVI who once said, "It is not enough to speak ABOUT Christ, but one should learn to speak TO Christ," which implies living a prayerful life.

Regarding the qualifications a candidate to priesthood requires, the archbishop said, "the priesthood is given to one not because he is worthy of it. No one is worthy of such a great calling. It is not a prize for our achievements. It is a pure gift. What makes one worthy is his total unworthiness.

Speaking of the achievements or experiences in priestly ministry, the archbishop said, the only worthwhile things for which a priest can be proud of in the service of Christ is to have suffered with Him. "Blessed are you, when people insult you and persecute you..." (Mt 5:11).

"It was a moving experience for me to witness the ordination ceremony," said a student who took part in the service. An elderly parishioner, on the other hand, said it helped him to "understand to some extent what God and the church expect from priests... and how noble and holy the call to priesthood is."
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ADUKANIL Matthew India
January 01, 2017

An excellent and timely homily by our beloved archbishop George Antonysamy.May all of us keep the aim of priesthood in mind.


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