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14 Salesians ordained Deacons in Chennai
By Louis Kumpiluvelil SDB
Chennai, Mar. 19. In a solemn two-hour-long ceremony, 14 Salesian students of theology from Becchi Don Bosco, Kavarapettai, were ordained deacons by Archbishop George Antonysamy D.D. of Madras-Mylapore,  on 18 March at Don Bosco Shrine, Ayanavaram, Chennai, in the presence of a large gathering of people, which included the parents and dear ones of the ordained. Of the 14 new deacons 5 belong to the Province of Chennai, 6 to Tiruchy, 2 to Hyderabad and 1 to the Province of the Middle East.
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The parents and relatives of the candidates and a large number of Salesians from the provinces of Chennai and Tiruchy took part in the solemn liturgy. The deacons had completed their four years of theological formation at Don Bosco Theological College, Kavarapettai.

Fr. Albert Johnson SDB, the Provincial of Tiruchy, introduced the ceremony by explaining the significance of the diaconate ordination. The candidates for ordination were presented to the archbishop by Fr. Jayapalan Raphael, the provincial of Chennai. Fr Tathireddy Vijaya Bhaskar, Vice-Provincial of Hyderabad, represented the Province of Hyderabad at the ordination.

Addressing the newly ordained deacons, Archbishop George highlighted the significance of the Order of the Diaconate. The Order of Diaconate, he said, is a call to service - service of the altar, service of the poor and service of the local Church.  He particularly reminded them of the words he had used while giving the Book of the Gospel to each of them, ''Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.''

The parish priests and the parishioners of Don Bosco, Ayanavaram, were specially thanked for the beautiful way  the whole event was organized. The singing during the liturgy was done by ''Bosco Voices'', a specially trained choir consisting of young people from the various Salesian institutions of Chennai.

Earlier, on the evening of 17th March, at Becchi Don Bosco Theologate, Fr Albert Johnson, Provincial of Tiruchy, conferred the Ministries of Lector and Acolyte on 21 other students of theology.
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