Bangalore, July 16, 2021: As the Church celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Archdiocese of Bangalore rejoiced over the addition of 14 new priests. The fourteen Deacons of were ordained to priesthood by His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Peter Machado, Metropolitan Archbishop of Bangalore. The Sacrament of Holy Orders took place at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Cleveland Town. This is the second time the Archdiocese is blessed with a big number and the last was in 2011 when the same number of priests were ordained.
As the second wave of the Covid -19 pandemic posed great risk and due to the restrictions imposed during lockdown period, the Priestly Ordination, which was originally scheduled in the month of May was delayed. However, the ordinandi ended their wait as they were anointed as priests by the Archbishop on this auspicious day.
During the Holy Eucharist, the priestly candidates professed their allegiance and obedience to Archbishop and his successors, after which the Archbishop blessed them and anointed them with sacred Chrism to perform the sacred duties.
Archbishop Peter Machado, addressing the priest candidates and the faithful in his homily emphasized on three important points that is eternity, slavery and friendship. He said, from all eternity God has destined you to be what you are today referring Jer 1:5 and said “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” He reminded that it is not your ability or intelligence or acumen that has brought you here nor is that you chose to be a priest, but it is God’s plan that “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit” Jn 15:16. He explained at length God’s love, benevolence and compassion which is beyond human comphernsion. He calls His chosen that “I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends” Jn15:15.
In his concluding message the prelate quoted the great poet of our times Sri Rabindranath Tagore and said “Every child comes with a message that God is not yet discouraged” slightly rephrasing he reminded that “Every Priest comes with a message that there is something more that could be done to the Diocese”
The Archbishop felicitated and thanked the parents and the family of the ordained Priests inviting them to the Altar.
With the restrictions of the Covid protocol, the priestly ordination ceremony was restricted to 100 people including the priests. After obtaining due permission from the concerned authorities, the solemn Holy Eucharist celebrations took place at the Cathedral. Archbishop Peter Machado presided over the mass along with Vicars General Msgr. S. Jayanathan, Msgr. C. Francis, a small number of priests and the family members.
The entire ceremony can be followed on the Bangalore Archdiocese YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYMAyLpCQFU&t=4588s