by BIS Mumbai Correspondent

Mumbai, December 25, 2019: Don Bosco High School Matunga, Mumbai witnessed the miraculous doings of the Lord yet again, as it has in all these years since its inception many moons ago. The Sacerdotal Ordination of 04 of its alumni, in the school quadrangle, was an occasion to jubilate, sing aloud and express gratitude to Him who calls, sustains, preserves and fortifies. Deacons Bosco Carvalho, Jerome Aruldass, Clarence Martis, and Mavron Fernandes who have dedicated their lives to God, the Don Bosco way, were ordained ‘priests forever’ on December 21, 2019.

Auxillary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Bombay, Bishop Barthol Barretto was the ordaining minister at the solemn liturgical ceremony which witnessed over 78 concelebrating priests, not counting other religious and the laity. Known for his affable ways, and warmth, translating love into action, Bishop Barretto in his homily, peppered with many quotations from Pope Francis , exhorted the newly ordained to “Take risks and do not let life’s obstacles get in the way of true joy and life that Jesus can give. Don’t be afraid to say yes to Him with all your hearts. In a world of growing secularisation, commercialism and materialism, we tend to be part of the crowd, but we are called to be genuine witnesses of the Lord Jesus for our Christian life has no place for bench-warmers. My dear Deacons you are called to be priests in a crucial moment, to act in persona Christi and witness to the Word of God through your way of living. You are calle dto be men of God, men of prayer, men of mercy in the confessional,men of kindness and compassion in the pastoral ministry and men filled with sensitivity and service to the poor and the marginalised.”

The newly ordained have served in the Salesian Province of Mumbai in various capacities over their dozen years of formation and have overcome difficult personal ordeals in their journey to the priesthood. Having borne the grind ofa long and arduous journey, coupled with study, work and youthful presence among the young, the 04 newly ordained have with resolved to live up to their priestly commitment – preaching the Word of God, Celebrating the Mysteries of the Faith, Praying Constantly, and Consecrating themselves to serve God’s People.

Mumbai Salesian Provincial Father Savio Silveira summed up the solemn evening with, “this evening has been an evening of immense blessings for us, because this evening God in His goodness has blessed with four new priests. We thank God for this great gift, for this grace, and in a special way I would like to thank Bishop Barthol – thank you for being with us this evening, thank you for ordaining these four young men, thank you for instructing them before the ordination. Hearty congratulations to our four new priests. We pray this evening to God for you, that God may make you/help you to be holy priests, priests who are always available, priests who are generous, priests who are kind, priests who are caring of God’ people. This is our wish, this is our prayer for you.” Father Silveira also congratulated the families of the newly ordained and asked them to pray for their sons, brothers that they may truly be good priests. He also congratulated and complimented the Rector of Don Bosco Matunga for hosting the Ordination Ceremony, and invited the aspirants, the boys of the choir, and other young people to discern the call, offering themselves to becoming priests and religious.

Father Mavron Fernandes expressed sentiments of gratitude on behalf of the newly ordained, saying, “this is the place where we all began our journey in the mid-90’s and we stand here today giving thanks to Almighty God who has been so good, for the loving-kindness of our blessed Mother with whom we can truly say ‘my soul magnifies the Lord’, for our families for their enormous support, especially our parents who said yes to God before we said our yes. Thanks to the accompaniment of the Holy Spirit, we kept reminding ourselves if the Lord wants us to be priests, we will be priests, having faith in the promise of God – I know the plans I have for you.” He made special mention of Father Ronald Menezes of happy memory, who as Rector “who stirred us by creating a strong foundation to walk on the Salesian way of life, as a pillar of enthusiastic inspiration.” He also thanked Bishop Barthol, the former provincials, spiritual directors/mentors, various rectors and communities, and the novice master for the accompaniment, He ended with ‘Thanks and God Bless’ in English, Tamil, Konkani and Gujarati.

The Don Bosco High School Brass Band livened up the liturgical proceedings and enhanced the singing with their well-rehearsed accompaniment to various parts of the Eucharist in charismatic Salesian style. Prior to the ceremony, the Brass Band of Don Bosco Apostolic School Lonavla provided the musical tempo and set the stage for the solemn ceremony to unfold. The family of the newly ordained, well-wishers, friends, teachers, and other church-goers filled up the quadrangle to participate in the historical event, quesing up later on, post-Eucharist to kiss the newly ordained’s anointed palms. Felicitations, refreshments and regulatory photo-sessions kept the Mumbai humidity at bay, even as the newly ordained smiled on through the dazzling shimmer all aound, knowing full well the responsibility to live as Alter Christus

Anyone who feels called to answer His Call, through teaching, sanctifying and serving others can please get in touch with the Vocation Promoter [at Don Bosco Youth Services Matunga] or the Rector of any Salesian Don Bosco Institute.