Mangaluru, May 9,2017: The arrival of the blessed 150 year old miraculous pilgrim Icon of Mother of perpetual succor in the Mangaluru diocese on May 6, as already detailed by our website, has indeed brought a grand blessings and on May 8, in particular to the Redemptorist congregation. Yet, again this season after Easter - the Resurrection of Christ, we see that 3 sons-of-the-soil who have been preparing for more than ten years were joyfully conferred ordination (Guru Deeksha/Abisheka) by Bishop of Mangalore Rev.Dr. Aloysius P D’Souza, with over a 100 priests con-celebrating, many nuns and an unprecedented congregation at Ferrar.
It is note worthy that a good number of the Redemptorists from Bangalore, Mumbai and so on were present. The Archbishop of Calcutta, Rt.Rev.Thomas D’Souza, who was in the area visited the congregation and conveyed his message of motivation earlier. It must be pointed out that as reported here the very first priests of the MSIJ - Missionary Society of Infant Jesus, saw 2 priests just days ago ordained at Bondel. Now the rare honour is for St.Francis Xavier Church Ferar, in the hinterland a cradle of Christianity and vocations.
At this Ferar church this is the 3rd such occasion in it’s 104 year old history, the last ordination here was 40 years ago. That here on this joyous note the religious order of Redemptorists gain on this occasion these new priests for their preaching mission is a divine gesture to be proud of. It must be lauded that these candidates are the first locally picked over ten years ago and set on course from Alangar and it’s Rector Rev Fr. Eugine D’Silva CSsR, who has made it his supplementary mission to motivate and train the young aspirants to this order......surely as expressed by many hopefully this trend will grow. Indeed May 8, will be a red letter day here for the Redemptorists.
The focus of the day was on the three subdued, serene, serious, smiling deacons who were committing them selves to the Holy Redeemer, the Christ to be an image of His, for Good Shepherding in the modern times. Dn. Ritesh Rosario CSsR, last child (of 10) of Baptist and Sophia of St Francis Xavier Church, Ferar; Dn. Rohan Dias CSsR, last child of Domnic and late Nathalia Dias of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Nakre; and Dn Ravi Richard Fernandes CSsR, last son of Raphael and Jascinta Fernandes of Infant Jesus Church,Vamadapadav.
Ordination, is indeed a matter of great joy and celebration; the church venue in nature blessed hills, was full to capacity and good arrangements were made on the right side of the church with a huge LCD screen, people were able to participate well in the ceremony, this place was later used along with the parish hall to felicitate the ordinates, their close folk and clergy and people after the ordination proper.
At the start, Vice Provincial of the Redemptorists Rev Fr. Ivel Mendanha made a solemn declaration to the Bishop and community on the tested suitability for the priesthood of the three candidates present with their families, on the call of the Bishop the candidates stepped forward and accepted the call of Christ; the Bishop exhorted them on their premier role in the church, he examined their commitment and with special prayers, called upon the Holy Spirit to fill them with graces, the three ordinates prostrated at the altar and the saints of the church invoked; they pledge to be obedient to the church and it’s representatives; the bishop and all priests present lay hands on their head and bless them individually and they are vested with the priestly vestments for mass, the hands are anointed with holy oils and they are entrusted with the gifts and empowered to offer holy mass, the salutes of peace are affectionately exchanged among the brother priests; they receive the holy offerings and join the Bishop to offer their first solemn holy mass in all it’s pomp and splendour. Finally, in the capacity of priests they give their first official blessing to all present. Indeed the joy of all present and religious particularly was palpable and many rushed to kiss the holy hands of the new priests and wish them....in particular the seniors and companions of the 3 priests it was seen could hardly contain their affection, happiness and joy. As the Bishop in his exhortation taking the recent words of Pope Francis to the clergy said that the priest must be a Good Sheppard in all manner and "imbibe the smell of the Sheep’’ to be in all the right spirit a good priest of the people. The bishop was particularly grateful, as all others, to the parents of the newly ordained for gifting their dear sons to the service of the Lord.
The entire congregation then moved to the venue of the felicitation on the right open space of the church were a well arranged shamiana and equipment kept all cool in spite of the humidity of the season. After a dance giving glory to God for His goodness, the 3 new Redemptorists with their parents, the provincial, the parish prist Rev.Dr. Pius Fidelis Pinto a historian and expert on Kanara catholics with several books to his credit and the key Redemptorist priest of Alangar instrumental in cloaking the three new Redemptorists from their very school days in the mid 2000s and one person who has been a father figure to the youth and their families, Fr.Eugene D’Silva CSsR garced the dais.
The felicitation was ably conducted by the youthful first Redemptorist priest to be given care of a parish in the Mangalore diocese, Fr.Rakesh mathias CSsR. It was heartening to note that Fr.Rosha Rosario Ofm.cap, elder brother of Fr.Ritesh was instrumental in many ways and his enthusiasm was sublime to behold. He said that their 2 brothers were holding back their weddings just to have 2 of their priest brothers solemnize the wedding...and now this week will be the peak of their weddings at Ferar. All three have many special gifts and their superiors have taken all care to develop them well for the service of man through God. No doubt that this redeeming order is referred to as "Redempt-terrorists’ as Fr.Eugene said. The vice provincial Fr.Ivel gave a stirring appreciation and exhortation to the priests, as their mentor and professor he made a superb impact all these years. He said that the ’ R’ here is for the Supreme Redeemer, these too have to follow in the footsteps to Redeem.....surprisingly he said that their names all start with the letter ’R’ too. Truly all present could not help but note that the well trained Redemptorists were extremely good speakers and articulates and their oratory skills are always looked up to by the people specially to bring God’s message. The new priests in unison say, "I am the Good Shepherd...I lay down my life for the sheep", quoting the bible. Nothing by God is left to chance ’All is His detailed design’
Brief on Redemptorist Congregation : On November 9, 1732, St. Alphonsus founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, popularly known as the Redemptorists, in order to follow the example of Jesus Christ announcing the Good News to the poor and the most abandoned. From that time on, he gave himself entirely to this new mission. Today more than 5000 Redemptorist priests are carrying out the mission of Jesus in more than 75 countries. Inspired by their founder St. Alphonsus, they preach the good news to the poor and the most abandoned. Rev. Fr. Michael Brehl CSsR, is the present Superior General. In India, the Redemptorists have 2 provinces (Bangalore and Kerala) and a vice-province. The vice-province of Majella, covers the coastal areas of Mumbai, Goa, Gujarat and Mangalore. At Alangar, Moodbidri they have their community called ‘Nithyadar Nivas.’ This community has 4 priests.
History of Ferar Church : Originally Ferar was a part of Pezar parish. Because the people had to walk the distance of about 16 kms to Pezar, Fr B. Baretto, parish priest of Pezar constructed a chapel at Ferar in 1882, and Sunday mass was being offered there. A new parish with Ferar and neighbouring villages from Pezar was formed on March 31, 1912 with Fr Reginald Pinto as its first parish priest. The existing church, constructed by Fr James Sequeira was blessed on December 28, 1932 by Bishop Victor R. Fernandes. Fr Sequeira also built a chapel at the cemetery. Fr D.L. Mathias who succeeded him built the presbytery and walled-up the church compound. Fr Raphael D’Souza constructed the belfry. Fr Reginald Pinto started the elementary school and Fr D.L. Mathias upgraded it. The church is about 30 kms from Mangaluru, on the left of the city - Karkala highway. about 2 km from Yadapadau cross.