by BISMumbai Coresspondent

UTTAN, December 30, 2019: Our Lady of the Sea Church, Uttan witnessed the Sacerdotal Ordination of MumbaiSalesian Father Xavier Bandya, on December 22, 2019. Bishop Emeritus of Aurangabad, Bishop Edwin Colaco was the ordaining minister at a solemn liturgical ceremony in the presence of over 75 priests, religious, brothers and nuns.

In his homily the Bishop Emeritus said “whenever Father Xavier performs various tasks or whenever he administers the Sacraments, he will always be bringing Christ to the people. As in Christmas, we realise that if Christ had not come, then there would have been no Last Supper and if it was so, then all our Eucharist would be redundant. We invite Christ everytime we celebrate the Eucharist. The essence of priesthood is to be understood in a model priest, and today I would like to remember Father Anthony Joseph who passed away as Provincial incumbent of Tiruchy, quoting Father Ivo Coelho who writes, “the song of his life has ended but the melody lingers on.” His footprints will always remain, like the fragrance of incense. Deacon Xavier you have struggled for 12 years obeying the bell, looking at the crucified Christ, have studied and have been trained by learned professors, all the while rubbing oil into your eyes, not losing focus of your goal.”

Bishop Colaco exhorted Father Bandya, “daily you will need to examine your priestly life looking into four mirrors – obedience, celibacy, poverty, prayer. To all of us gathered here, I quote Cardinal Simon Pimenta of revered memory who at the ordination ceremony in 1980 at Don Bosco Matunga said, “ this is your priest. He is going to work with you and for you. He has plenty of need of your love. You will need to understand him and likewise, pray for him.”

On behalf of the Mumbai Salesians, Father Manuel Murzello thanked Bishop Colaco “not only for this ordination but for the last 3-4 ordinations that he has officiated at and for willingly acceptign to be the ordaining Bishop.” He also thanked Father Ivan deSouza, Rector of Don Bosco Youth Centre Pune for accompanying Father Bandya during the stage of theological formation. He also expressedly and profusely thanked Father Peter D’Cunha Parish Priest at Our Lady of the Sea Uttan, and the family of Father Bandya for the generous offering of their son to the Salesian Priesthood.

Father Bandya acknowledged the lengthy duration of the ceremony while expressing his gratitude to God, for the call, saying “I pray steadfastly that He who has called me will accompany me further on.” He also thanked Bishop Colaco, Father Silveira Mumbai Salesian Provincial, former parish priests and all the parishoners, his parents, his two older brothers and his younger brother Father Chris saying, “I will remember you all at my daily Eucharist.”

Father Bandya is the seventh Priest in the extended Bandya family, with his younger brother as a Capuchin priest. The congregated crowd of worshippers included people from Bhayandar, Uttan, Pali, and also others who travelled all the way from Gujarat. The boys from Bosco Boys Home Borivli were present in full strength to witness and participate in the solemn ceremony of their beloved brother Xavier.

The melodious music of the local choir added to the solemnity as the son of Our Lady of the Sea, Uttan puts out into the deep, steadfast in faith, hope and charity.