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``My Life Is Yours O Lord - This Is My Sacrifice, My Yes``
By Cl. Renold Pascal SSP
Guwahati, Jul. 1. The month of July brought another gift to the community of Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong. It was a reliving of `Pentecost` as nineteen brothers from the community were ordained deacons - taking them a step towards the goal of their vocational journey, the priesthood. While two belong to the congregation of Missionaries of Faith, the remaining seventeen are Salesians from the provinces of Bangalore (2), Kolkatta (3), Guwahati (4), Delhi (3), Dimapur (2) and, Sri Lanka (3). The candidates prepared themselves for this important step with a week of retreat and reflection at the Pastoral Centre, Shillong, where they were animated by Fr. M.P. Thomas, the novice master of Dimapur province.
The morning liturgy was presided over by Bishop Victor Lyngdoh of the Diocese of Nongstoin who was the ordaining prelate. About 20 priests from various communities joined in the concelebration of the Holy Eucharist. In his homily, Bishop Victor urged the brothers to live faithfully this sacred call and challenged them to be servants of the Word and the sacraments, ministering material things with transparency and commitment to the people; and, men renowned for celibate love. He did not hesitate to recall some of the pitfalls that beset the priesthood and religious life today. The candidates were presented to Bishop Victor by Rev. Fr. Joseph Almeida sdb, the Provincial of Guwahati, who laid hands on the candidates ordaining them Deacons. The solemn liturgy was prayerfully animated and the soulful singing of the 2nd year students of theology added grace to the celebration.

The newly-ordained deacons expressed their sentiments of gratitude to Rev. Fr. George Maliekal sdb, the Rector and all the staff of the Sacred Heart Theological College. The Sacred Heart community raises a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God for the wonderful blessing of these 19 deacons to their congregations and to the Church. We wish them all a very fruitful diaconate ministry and a meaningful preparation for their priesthood.

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