(Bangalore, India) After 13 years of formation, Dn Robin Kumar and Dn Prem Kumar, CssR., were ready and willing to answer positively to the divine calling and be added to the order of priesthood. On 10th September 2020, at 10.30 am, they were ordained priests by His Grace, Archbishop Peter Machado, at Holy Ghost Church. Redemptorist confreres from Bangalore communities, a few Franciscan Friars and priests from the Diocese of Shimoga were present. Concelebrating with the Archbishop were the Provincial of Bangalore, Fr. Edward Joseph and the Minister Provincial of the Franciscans, Fr. Praveen D’Souza. Due to the Covid -19 pandemic a limited congregation was present and precautions of social distancing and sanitization were put into place with all the priests and people in the celebration wearing masks.
The ceremony began with a brief recounting of their journey from the time they entered the Redemptorist community. It was followed by the celebration of the Holy Mass. Apt to the occasion, the gospel reading chosen was that of St. John, where Jesus said to his disciples, “I chose you, and I commissioned you to go out and bear fruit, fruit that will last.” The reading of the gospel was followed by the Rite of Ordination. The candidates (deacons) were presented to the Archbishop who addressed them and the gathering, on the duties of priesthood.
In his ensuing homily, His Grace could not help but notice and remark on the unusual absence of a large number of people due to the on-going pandemic. He pointed out that ultimately, on an occasion like this, God is all that matters; not external signs of celebration. He reflected on three words from the readings of the liturgy – mercy, anointing and friendship. These words summed up the ministry which the future priests were called to participate in. He reminded the deacons that no one is worthy in themselves to receive the gift of ordination. It was only God’s mercy and love that brought them to this state of anointment. It was indeed their privilege to be anointed to carry out the ministerial duties of a priest. He also exhorted them to be like the founder of the Redemptorists, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and follow his example of being humble, and proclaiming the good news to the poor and abandoned.
The Mass proceeded with the deacons expressing their readiness to be ordained, and the Litany of the Saints. The church was filled with an air of solemnity during the laying of hands upon the heads of the ones being ordained, with the prayer of consecration for them to be faithful to their ministry.
The newly ordained priests were vested with the stole and chasuble, and their palms anointed with the oil of chrism. They were then presented with bread and wine as a sign that they could now offer the Holy Eucharist. The Eucharistic liturgy continued with the newly ordained priests concelebrating with His Grace.
Before the service concluded, the newly ordained priests, Fr. Prem Kumar and Fr. Robin Kumar expressed their thanks to God, to their parents, formators and all who helped them on their journey to priesthood. They also thanked all those who worked hard to make this occasion a memorable one, and specially appreciated the seminarians who participated in the Mass with their melodious singing.
We congratulate Fr. Prem Kumar and Fr. Robin Kumar, and thank God for the gift of their vocation.
Report by: Redemptorist Media Centre, Bangalore