A First Thanksgiving Mass and a First Holy Communion in the Vice-Province of Majella

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(India) The Vice-Province of Majella despite the lockdown imposed with very strict restrictions went ahead with God’s grace to have a third ordination to the priesthood. Fr. Joyan Alwin D’Costa, C.Ss.R., was ordained a Redemptorist Missionary Priest by Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha, the Bishop of Mangalore in Karnataka in a private service with only 25 people in attendance that included the immediate family of the newly ordained and the Redemptorist confreres of the community. The Strict lockdown was to be enforced in the state of Karnataka in India from 9 pm on the 27th of April.

The ordination which was to be on the 28th was anticipated with the kind and gracious help of the Bishop and the service was held in a chapel of a Convent of Sisters of Mt. Rosary adjacent to our Redemptorist Community. Following all the strict guidelines of social distancing and numbers the service was simple and yet solemn as the Bishop called on the young Redemptorist missionary priest to live in union with Jesus the Eternal Shepherd caring for the flock entrusted to his care. 

Fr Joyan is the only son of his parents Wilma and Gerrald D’Costa and he has one sister Ginelle who was born after many years and while Joyan was a young seminarian in the juventate of the Redemptorists. Through the Lord’s graciousness, Fr Joyan in celebrating his First Thanksgiving Mass the day after his ordination on the 28th April at 7 am in a private service in the Redemptorist community at Alangar gave his sister her First Holy Communion in a very touching moment of an elder and only brother sharing Jesus with his only sister. The two share a special bond even though they did not live together at home. The little girl sang beautifully the responsorial psalm in perfect pitch and tune following the example of her brother who himself is an excellent and very talented musician in the V. Province.

 The V. Province rejoices today for the graciousness of the Lord that despite a raging pandemic where nearly 20 priests have died all over the country to Covid-19 we have 3 new Redemptorist Missionary Priests ordained in simple and homely yet solemn services where everything fell into place so beautifully. All the Bishops were generous and acomodating with their ability to adjust and be available teaching us that if one wants a Shepherd leader can truly be close to his flock. 

The V. Province thanks the kind generosity of the founder of the Congregation of Sisters of Mt Rosary (Msgr. Edwin Pinto of the Diocese of Mangalore) who offered the chapel for the private service since all Churches are closed for public services and the sisters who led by the Superior General Sr. Priscilla herself saw to the decoration and care of the chapel for the ordination service. 

The V. Province is grateful to the Lord for the 3 young Redemptorist Missionary priests and is challenged to respond now with greater availability for mission to a wounded world as witnesses of the Redeemer bringing his plentiful redemption to his people in distress.

Joseph Ivel Mendanha, C.Ss.R.

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