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Ordained as Priests to Love the Unloved

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Chennai, Apr. 29. On April 28, 2021, five Salesians, Arockia Anbu, Arun Sagayaraj, Gabriel Selvakumar, Gabriel Paulraj C, and Devaraj Jayaraj, were ordained priests in the Salesian Province of Chennai at Don Bosco Katpadi by the Salesian Archbishop Emeritus Chinnappa Malayappan D.D. Though scheduled to be ordained in December 2020, the pandemic and its resurgence made the celebrations postponed for a while. However, the service was conducted in compliance with the COVID protocol.
In his homily, the Salesian Archbishop dwelt on love and how to be a witness of love. He said Salesians don't need to go looking for models on how to love the less-loved. They are very fortunate because they have  Don Bosco himself as their model. Archbishop told the newly ordained priests to be imitators of Don Bosco. He said the priesthood implies the gift to love and love all irrespective of caste or creed, to love with a focus on the less privileged, just as the Good Shepherd himself went searching for the lost sheep.

The Archbishop narrated how in one of the Dioceses in India, the Bishop denied permission for religious to work in his Diocese. But when the Salesians approached him, he immediately granted the request. When asked why the Bishop had a soft corner for Salesians, he responded, 'Salesians know how to love the unloved.'

It was indeed a solemn yet, sombre celebration due to the unprecedented resurgent pandemic wave across India. The Salesian community of Don Bosco, Katpadi, went out of their way to accommodate the family members and chosen special invitees for this memorable Eucharistic celebration. The liturgical celebration was telecast live to the whole world.

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