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Kolkata Province Felicitates New Priests
By Johny Nedungatt SDB
Kolkata, Feb. 10. The province  celebrated New Priest Day on 9 February, at the conclusion of the provincial chapter in Kolkata, with over 90 confreres present.  The  four newly ordained  were at the altar with the Provincial offering their first Mass for the confreres.
Frs. Samuel Rai, Jacob Tete, Robi Sarkar and Lewis Tirkey, the newly ordained Salesians of Kolkata Province
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The occasion also served as the Provincial Community Day where the Provincial, Fr. Nirmol Gomes expressed his gratitude to every confrere, particularly to his immediate collaborators.

The story of their journey to priesthood became part of the homily where each of them took turn to show how the hand of God was  there slowly nudging them forward.

Fr. Lewis Tirkey SDB, hailing from the sanctuary of the Basilica of  Our Lady of Bandel  said, ''My life is a call to love the way God has loved me (Jn.15.12).  I surrender myself totally to his ways and I have felt this love even when I had difficulty as I was planning my ordination.''

''Peace I give you, My peace I give to you'' was the message of Fr. Robi Sarkar SDB, hailing from Auxilium parish, Kolkata.  While expressing gratitude to everyone present, he took exception to thank his mentors for he claimed that they were the ones who pointed the direction God designed for him.

Fr. Samuel Rai SDB from the northern part of the province, Sikkim, was firm in asserting that his mother's words to trust in the Lord always served as an inspiration for him to pursue his vocation to salesian priestly life.

Despite the fact that Fr. Jacob Tete SDB left the aspirantate to return home God brought him back as His plan was very different.  One evening along with his friends he escaped from the aspirantate, took a train to return home but that day the train did not leave the station. Tete returned to the aspirantate to get a light reprimand from the Rector but stayed on ever since to arrive at this day.  Regardless of the frequent doubts he had, Tete believed firmly in the words, ''You did not choose me but I chose you. (Jn 15.16).

While wishing the new priests the joy and blessings of the life embraced the Provincial reminded them that one does not automatically be a priest but has to become priest all along.  The fellowship meal brought the day's celebration to a closure.


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