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Three New Priests Ordained for the Salesian Province of Panjim
By Father Maxim D'souza, sdb
Panjim, Dec. 22. As the hymn goes, 'Blessing after blessing just keeps following me', the Salesian Province of Panjim has been receiving blessing from the Lord with new priests being ordained for the Province.  Deacon Austin Fernandes was ordained Priest on his birthday, December 20, 2015 at Rosary Church Malvan by Most Rev. Alwyn Barreto, Bishop of Sindhudurg. Deacons Francisco Britto and Marvin Vaz were ordained Priests on December 21, 2015 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima by Most Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrao, Archbishop of Goa.
Father Austin's Ordination at Malvan turned out to be a historic one as it was for the first time that an Ordination ceremony was witnessed in this Parish. Father Austin is the third one to be ordained Priest from this Parish that has a 200 year history. The solemn ceremony held in the open was attended by a large gathering of faithful nearing a thousand and about 35 Priests of whom 15 were from the Diocese. The Bishop in his homily, delved on Father Austin's Ordination motto, 'Perfected in Weakness.'
After the Ordination ceremony, a felicitation program was held during which Father Austin celebrated the twin events of his life, priestly ordination and 30th birthday. Fr. Provincial thanked his parents, Mr. Anthon and Mrs. Thereza Fernandes for their sacrifice and generosity. Father Austin in his reply made a special mention of Father Amarildes Sigmaringa, sdb, who followed him up in his vocation journey.  The presence of Salesians - Priests, Brothers, Students of Theology and Salesian Sisters in large numbers could not go unnoticed.  The Parish Priest Father Joackim Patrick took special interest in the organization of the ceremony and made extensive preparations involving the parishioners actively.

The Ordination ceremony of Father Francisco Britto and Father Marvin Vaz was however all a Salesian affair - as it was the only one to be conducted in a Salesian house. The liturgy was well conducted with a team of Salesians and the melodious choir that enlivened the it found a special mention by the Provincial in his thanksgiving speech. The Archbishop during his homily strove to blend the themes of Father Francisco - 'Be Holy for I am Holy' and that of Father Marvin - 'To walk humbly with the Lord.'

Father Provincial thanked both the families for generously offering their sons to the Church in the Salesian Congregation. After the ceremony a short felicitation program was held in the Salesian residence. Incidentally, both these newly ordained Priests have completed their Theological studies at Kristu Jyothi College, a Salesian Theologate at Bangalore; Father Austin Studied at Papal Seminary, Pune.


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