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Archbishop to new priests: Be servants, reject careerism

By Myrna S. Bermudo

Priesthood “is never a career. You are ordained not to be functionaries, not to be professionals. You are ordained to be servants, to be even slaves. You are ordained to radiate the image of Jesus, the suffering servant,” Caceres Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD, told eight men on their priestly ordination and one seminarian for the diaconate for the Archdiocese of Caceres. 

“Always be a servant. The gift given to you is the best gift the Lord has given to a person. But this does not in any way make you to become a master. You are to serve, not to be served. You will be forever servants of Jesus, servant of the church, servants of the poor,” Tirona exhorted the deacons April 15 during his homily at the ordination mass at Our Lady of Peñafrancia Basilica Minore and National Shrine. 

The newly ordained priests are : Fr. Aljan C. Galvez; Fr. Emarson M. Hermoso; Fr. John Lino G. Labrador; Fr. Dominique C. Llaguno; Fr. John Dexter P. Penaflor; Fr. Joshua O. Sanchez; and Fr. Jessel B. Sarmiento; and the new deacon is Rev. Michael Angelo Escriba.

During the Solemn Celebration, the send-off Rite for new Missionary Priests was also held, as well as the Oath of Incardination to the Archdiocese of Rev. Fr. Henry Lozano.

Eight ordinands prostrated themselves while the assembly kneels to pray during the Litany of Saints. The gesture of prostration is a symbol of their submission to the will of God; a very powerful moment as these men hands their life over to God in total abandon during the rite of ordination. Archbishop Rolando Tirona, concluded the Litany with a prayer. Ordination was held April 15, at the Peñafrancia Basilica Minore, Naga City. Phillip Mari Figura

Archbishop Tirona expressed gratitude to parents and guardians: “Thank you for offering your sons to serve the Church. Today is the day that God answers your prayers, sacrifices, supplications and encouragement to your sons. Today you will witness the ordination of your son together with the Christian community.” 

Citing tremendous blessings because the ordination occurs on a Saturday of the octave of Easter, the Archbishop reminded the new priests that the message of the Risen Lord still rings in our hearts. “Let us give joy to our communities. We are all energised. We are men and women of Easter. We become new persons with new hearts, new persons with your actions,” he added.

The Archbishop also urged the ordinands to reject entitlement. “Priesthood does not give us the power to be entitled to anything at all. If there is anything we are entitled to, it is to imitate Jesus. Never abuse the goodness of people. They will call you now, Father, they will ask you to bless them, say “Amen” to you. They will be so concerned about you. And the devil easily wants us to enjoy these prerogatives. Then it will be easy to abuse the generosity and kindness of people. Learn to be detached from all honours, from all treasures. Always obey what Peter said to the lame man: “Silver and gold I have none but I have I give you: Jesus Christ, the Lord.” 

“Be like Jesus, the High Priest,” the Archbishop said. “Jesus, the model high priest, was aware of His calling and responded through obedience, through sacrifice, and total self -offering.”

Present during the ordination were Daet Bishop Rex Andrew C. Alarcon, DD; Rev. Msgr. Rodel Cajot, VG, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Caceres and rector of Peñafrancia Basilica; Fr. Napoleon Sipalay, Jr. OP, Vice Rector of University of Sto. Tomas, Pontifical Theological Seminary; Fr. Joey Gonzaga, rector of the Holy Rosary Major Seminary; Seminary formators, parents, seminarians, classmates and friends of the ordinands.


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