Updated: October 04, 2021 07:19 AM GMT
The 19 scholastics belonging to the Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier (Society of Pilar) after they were ordained deacons in the chapel of the Mission Seminary in Pilar, Goa, on Oct. 3. (Photo supplied)
Nineteen scholastics belonging to the Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier (Society of Pilar) were ordained deacons by Bishop Emeritus Aleixo Dias of Port Blair at the chapel of the Mission Seminary in Pilar, Goa, on Oct. 3.
The rite of the diaconate ordination was held with all Covid-19 safety protocols.
“Diaconia or service should be your watchword throughout your lives. Whether you are going to be deacons, priests or bishops; you are called to serve,” said Bishop Dias, the first prelate from the Society of Pilar and of the Diocese of Port Blair.
He further said that “having reached the diaconate, you brothers will be having this impression that you have reached the end of your rowing, and that you are getting close to the goal that you have set for yourself, and the Lord Jesus have set for you — the goal of your priesthood. However, you are not to stop rowing, you are not to rest on the oars, you are to keep on rowing.”
Reflecting on the Word of God, he said that the disciples did not understand that their master and Lord could be washing their feet as such a thing was the task of slaves and servants and prodded the to-be-deacons to understand what Jesus did when he washed the feet of his disciple.
The prelate called them to have the image of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples all throughout their life. Unfortunately, there are deacons, priests and bishops who do not serve the Lord and his people, but themselves, he said while exhorting them to have service as the foremost word in their mind.
Father Mascarenhas called on the deacons to be true and genuine, self-sacrificing and compassionate servants in the mission of Christ
The Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier, popularly known as the Society of Pilar, was founded in 1887 in Goa. It is an indigenous society and works in 31 dioceses in India and nine dioceses abroad.
The 19 deacons come from 18 different parishes belonging to nine different dioceses and archdioceses of India — Udupi, Karwar, Mangalore, Gumla, Port Blair, Dharmapuri, Palayamkottai, Ranchi, and Goa and Daman.
Speaking on the occasion, Father Sebastiao Mascarenhas, superior general of the Society of Pilar, said it was an ecclesial event as the young men were called to serve Christ and to be configured to Christ.
He said the Society of Pilar is spread all over and is not just a Goan society but is the society of the Church. He thanked Bishop Dias for ordaining the deacons and expressed gratitude to their parents and families, to the archdiocese and diocese in which each of the deacons was brought up, and to the seminary educators who guided and cared for the seminarians.
Father Mascarenhas called on the deacons to be true and genuine, self-sacrificing and compassionate servants in the mission of Christ.
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