Mangaluru: “I have loved you with everlasting love, I have called you and you are mine”. These words expressed to Prophet Jeremiah have become true in the lives of deacons who were ordained priests on Thursday, April 20, 2023, by His Excellency Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop of Mangalore. The ordination ceremony took place at the Rosario Cathedral in the presence of priests, religious and lay faithful with a meaningful celebration.
Fr Avinash Lesly Pais, Katipalla, Fr Lohith Ajay Mascarenhas, Venur and Fr Robin Joyson Santhumayer were the newly ordained priests. The Diocese of Mangalore (DOM) rejoiced with happiness for the gift of Priesthood and thanked the Lord for anointing these three newly ordained priests.
In his homily, Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha invited the three ordained ministers to achieve holiness through the order of priesthood. Bishop said, “Priesthood is a gift and a mystery. It is a gift because God freely gives it. It is a mystery because nobody knows how God makes this choice and call.”
The Bishop further said, “Every ordained priest is called for holiness. A priest becomes holy by celebrating the sacraments. The holiness of a priest doesn’t take away his weaknesses. Hence, he needs to find strength in his weaknesses by surrendering himself to God and totally depending on Him. This becomes the personal mission of every priest in the path of Holiness”.
At the end of the Eucharistic Mass, Rev. Dr Rajesh Rosario, Professor, St Joseph Seminary, Jeppu introduced the newly ordained priests. He said, “Today the Church rejoices with heartfelt gratitude for the immense gift which priests represent through their hidden and tireless service. The Diocese of Mangalore which has grown in leaps and bounds through the dedication of innumerable priests exalts in the Lord today with adding of three more priests with a prayer that they remain faithful to their vocation as “friends of Christ”, whom he has called by name, chosen and sent as witnessed in the rite of Ordination.”
Rev. Robin Santhumayer, one of the ordained said, “I am extremely glad to witness this great day of my life. Priesthood is the greatest gift that I have received in my life. A trillion thanks to God Almighty who has made me his own. I and my fellow ordained priests, remain grateful to the bishop and the diocese. I resolve to dedicate my entire life to Jesus and His mission “
Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha thanked their parents, parish priests, formators, ministry guides and all those involved in their formation.
Very Rev. Msgr Maxim L. Noronha, Vicar General, Very Rev. Victor George DSouza, Chancellor, Very Rev. Dr Ronald Serrao, Rector of the Seminary, Rev. Fr Alfred J Pinto, Rector of the Cathedral and a band of priests were present.
Choir was led by the Rosario Church Choir group. Rev. Fr Vijay Machado, Director, DBCLC, Bajjodi animated the ordination ceremony.
About the Newly Ordained Priests:
Fr Avinash Leshly Pais was born on 28 November 1994 in the family of the Late Luis Pais and Mrs Anjeline Veigas from Infant Mary Church, Katipalla. He has an older sister and has a graduation in Arts (BA.). He completed his seminary formation at St Joseph’s Seminary, Jeppu. He did his regency at Our Lady of Remedies Church, Kirem and his diaconal ministry at Holy Cross Church, Cordel. The motto for his priestly life is: “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). His gentleness and commitment may bring many people to God and to believe in Christ.
Fr Lohith Ajay Mascrenhas was born on 05 November 1994 in the family of Mr Francis Mascarenhas and Mrs Apoline Mascarenhas from Christ the King Church, Venur. He is the youngest among his three siblings and has completed his graduation in Science (B.Sc). He did his regency at Pastoral Institute, Bajjodi and his diaconal ministry at Holy Family Church, Omzoor. He completed his seminary formation at St Joseph’s Seminary, Jeppu. The motto for his priestly life is “Go because I have chosen you as my instrument to serve me and to proclaim my name” (Acts 9:15). His dynamism and service-mindedness may become an expression of God’s experience to the people he will serve.
Fr Robin Joyson Santhumayer was born on 29 March 1995 in the family of Mr Richard Santhumayer and Mrs Linet Thersa Santhumayer from St Roque’s Church, Neerude. He is the only son and has completed his graduation in Social Work (B.S.W). He completed his seminary formation at St Joseph’s Seminary, Jeppu. He did his regency at St Philomena College, Puttur and his diaconal ministry at St Antony’s Church, Kulur, known for his cheerful and warm nature with leadership qualities, his chosen motto is “for God loveth a cheerful giver” 2 Cor 9:17. The heart of Jesus which was opened on the Cross to enkindle selfless love in his heart may communicate the same passionate love through his priestly ministry.
Report by: Fr Anil Fernandes, CCC
Photos by: Stanly Bantwal