BIS #7122 Ordinations at Matunga: INB Gets an Early Christmas Gift

By Br Aliester D’Souza for BISMumbai

It was a day of profound joy and immense gratitude to God and Mary Help of Christians, as Deacons Agnel James and Lawrance Vincent were ordained priests at the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna, Matunga-Mumbai, on 16 December 2023. The ordination ceremony, part of the solemn Eucharist, was presided over by Auxillary Bishop Dominic Savio Fernandes of the Archdiocese of Bombay.

The ordination ceremony was a grace-filled evening of prayer, thanksgiving, and invoking blessings, accompanied by the presence of nearly 50 Salesians, family members and well-wishers. The well-animated liturgy was further solemnised by the soul-stirring Shrine choir.

In his homily, Bishop Fernandes, invited the soon-to-be ordained priests to be pastors faithful to their responsibilities, taking to heart the synodal process of animating the faithful. He also said, "This is indeed a day of great rejoicing since the ordination of Lawrance and Agnel is not only for the Salesians of Bombay or the Salesian Congregation, rather it is a gift of God, also to the Archdiocese of Bombay and the universal Church." 

The Provincial, Father Savio Silveira thanked Bishop Fernandes and also congratulated the newly ordained and their parents for the love-offering made to God of their sons with commitment and deep-rooted faith. He also added that, at the beginning of the Christmas Novena, this was indeed God’s early Christmas gift to the Province.

Father Lawrance Vincent proposed a 'vote of thanks' expressing gratitude to all those who have accompanied the both of them on their journey to the priesthood.

Both the newly ordained made their first religious profession on 24 May 2013 at Nashik. After completing their post-novitiate in Nashik, they served as regents and then completed their respective specialisations (college studies). The last stage of their formation was at the Salesian Theologate in Shillong. Blessed with a variety of experiences, they are open to new experiences and enthusiastic about working with the young. Both are extremely talented yet incredibly humble. 

Speaking on his Ordination motto, Father Agnel James said, “Psalm 56:11 appealed to me, and so I chose it as a guiding principle for life. Life is indeed tough and quite challenging. However, it is only with great trust in the Lord that one can overcome these difficulties.” Father Lawrance Vincent, having chosen his motto as ‘Serve the Lord with gladness’, shared that he was optimistic and enthusiastic about working more committedly for the young in his new ministry as a Salesian priest.