Mangaluru, May 01, 2019: Tomorrow May 2, Thursday, will be a red letter day at Rosario Cathedral for Diocese of Mangalore, for the first time the present Bishop of Mangalore Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, will officiate at the rite of ’Ordination’ - the consecration of priests, at Rosario Cathedral at 10 am. Four new priests for the region will be ordained.
A phenomenal number of priests originate form the Kanara region, many priests from the Konkani hinterland are serving in other parts of India and overseas. The ordination - anointing, ’Abishek’ or ’Deeksha’ a solemn ceremony of the catholic church, a large number of clergy who along side the bishop, will assist in particular, by laying of hands on the 4 new priest and pray that they be filled with the spiritual blessings and powers to serve the church and and it’s faithful fruitfully.
The Four New ordinants are : Promod Crasta of Kasargod, Roshan D’souza of Shimoga, Steven Peris of Farla, Larry Pinto of Ferar. They have been preparing for this day for about 10 years at St.Joseph’s Seminary, Jeppu. Now their commitment and service to the church will commence after they take up their respective assignments from the Bishop soon. Before that they will give thanks with a very spacial first mass, along with their kith and kin in their native parish churches.
What is ordination : Ordination is the sacrament anointing man to be a priest, in the name Christ and the church. The ordination ceremony includes various rituals, rich in meaning and history, e.g., prostration, laying on of hands, anointing of hands, giving of the chalice and paten, sign of peace. The essential rite of the sacrament, is the laying on of hands and prayer of consecration. This is an ancient tradition in the Church, mentioned in the Bible. Only a bishop can ordain a priest because he shares in the ministry of Jesus passed down through the apostle, in it’s fullness. Anointing with oil stems from the Old Testament and indicates that someone or something is being set apart for a sacred task or duty.
A man has to engage in a challenging program of priestly formation which lasts often more than a decade, depending upon his background and the seminary he attends. There are three levels of seminary: high school; college/pre-theology; and theology. Seminaries address four types of formation: human, spiritual, academic (intellectual) and pastoral. In addition to the academic course work, seminarians participate in a full schedule of spiritual activities daily. At each level of seminary training, the seminarian prepares for future pastoral ministry in various settings, such as schools, religious education programs, hospitals, prisons and parishes. All of the formation takes into consideration the human person; human growth and development is fostered by community living, workshops and other programs. The formation of future priests includes practical learning, too, for example, preaching, presiding at Mass and pastoral counseling.
Priests who belong to a religious orders take the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Diocesan/Secular priests make two promises- celibacy and obedience; these promises are part of the ordination ceremony. It is also expected that diocesan priests will lead a life of simplicity consonant with the people they serve in high degree of dedication.