Mangalore : Bishop Rev. Francis Serrao SJ ordains 9  Deacons

Fr Steve OCD

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Mangalore May 30: The Carmelites had more than one reason to thank God and celebrate on 30th May, 2014. It was a day that saw two brothers pronouncing their religious vows for life and nine others dedicating themselves to a life of service in the diaconal ministry.
The beautiful Infant Jesus Shrine, Bikarnakatte, Mangalore was filled with relatives, friends and well-wishers, as around 40 concelebrants processed along with Most Rev. Francis Serrao SJ, Bishop of Shimoga.

The rite of Solemn Profession and Diaconate, guided by Fr. Prakash D’Cunha OCD, were beautifully integrated in the Eucharistic celebration. The Bishop, exhorted the candidates to be ‘men of God and men for God’, ‘men of integrity’ and ‘men of service.’ The highlights of the ceremony were the laying of hands by the Bishop on the candidates for Diaconate and the religious profession in the hands of the Provincial Superior f the Carmelites, Rev. Fr. Charles Serrao OCD.

The Diaconate is the final step before Priesthood, and is a ministry primarily dedicated to the preaching of the Word of God and the service of the brethren. They also assist the Priests at the Holy Eucharist. Besides, they can offer Holy Communion to the sick, bless marriages and conduct funerals. The Karnataka-Goa Province is blessed to have 9 new deacons, who will be completing their theological studies by November 2014. They are the following:
1. Br. Anthony Stephen, Mariapura – Bangalore
2. Br. Augustine Robert, Chamarajnagar – Mysore
3. Br. Joseph Cyril D’Souza, Siddakatte
4. Br. Kevin Felix Fernandes, Vamanjoor
5. Br. Noel Francis D’Cunha, Margao – Goa
6. Pawan Alson Saldanha, Agrar
7. Br. Prakash lancy Rebello
8.  Br. Sandeep Goveas, Mudigere - Chikmagalur

Through Solemn Profession the members pronounce the three evangelical counsels (poverty, chastity and obedience) for life and is the final step in the religious life. The candidates become full-fledged members and share everything in common within the Religious Order. The Discalced Carmelite friars are extremely happy for the two new additions to their religious family:
1. Br. Ashwin Rohan D’Silva, Paladka
2. Br. Stevan Lobo, Modankap

At the end of the Mass there was a short felicitation programme. Fr. Stephen Pereira OCD, introduced the nine newly ordained deacons and the two solemnly professed members to the congregation. The Carmelites felicitated Most Rev. Francis Serrao SJ, the new Bishop of Shimoga, on his maiden visit to the Shrine after taking over his new pastoral responsibility. Incidentally he is the first cousin of Rev. Fr. Charles Serrao OCD, who was recently elected the Provincial Superior of the Karnataka-Goa Province. Fr. Charles while wishing the new Bishop on behalf of the Carmelites, highlighted some of his qualities, since he knows him from childhood. He also spoke about the warm relationship that the new Bishop has had with the Carmelites so far, and wished that it grow further through mutual collaboration in the Diocese of Shimoga. The special guest at this short programme, was Fr. Joseph Martis, the Rector of St. Joseph’s Seminary, Jeppu, where our students are day scholars.

Three cheers to these young men who have made a radical choice to follow the Lord and serve the Church. We pray for them, and wish them all the best in their future lives. A special word of gratitude to their families for the great sacrifice they have made, for which God will never fail to bless them.

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