An Ordination and a Commissioning for Mission during Lockdown in the Vice-Province of Majella

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(India) With a 2nd and more serious wave on at the moment in the State of Maharashtra in India of which the city of Mumbai is the capital and with a strict lockdown imposed in the city and the state it was a herculean task to go ahead with the Ordination of Savio Fernandes and the Commissioning after Pastoral Year (Transition for Ministry) of Jerry Fernandes.

However, with the grace of God and the blessing of Our Mother of Perpetual Help we went ahead and followed all the SOPs recommended. The Ordination Service on the 16th April 2021 was in private with the doors of the Church closed and only the immediate family of the newly ordained Savio present (his parents and sisters) who had come before lockdown to stay with us in the community. The Ordaining Bishop (Dominic Savio Fernandes, Auxiliary Bishop of Mumbai) was able to come to the Community without any trouble and in a simple but very solemn service ordained our confrere at which only the community of Redemptorists, confreres from the neighboring community and a few of our Redemptorist Students were present. The Bishop reminded us that the Lord uses our weakness, inability and nothingness to call us to depend more on him and his healing love and so bring his plentiful Redemption to a people wounded and crying out for grace.

There were a total of 25 confreres and family members present thus following the numbers imposed by the government. We thank the Lord for Fr Savio Fernandes, C.Ss.R. our newly ordained Redemptorist and we are grateful to his parents who willingly let go of their only son to serve in the Mission of the Lord.

On the 17th April 2021 Fr Jerry Fernandes, C.Ss.R, after completing his Pastoral Year (Transition to Ministry) was formally commissioned and sent out as a Redemptorist Missionary Priest in the V. Province of Majella. At a solemn Eucharistic Celebration at 7 am in the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Chembur in Mumbai and attended by only the Confreres of the community and students Fr Jerry professed to live with passion and zeal as a Redemptorist Missionary Priest following the example of the Redeemer in proclaiming Good News to the most abandoned. Fr Ivel, V. Provincial Superior, exhorted the young Redemptorist Missionary to never let the flame and passion for mission to the wounded ever die out in his life but to be constantly burning with zeal in witnessing to the Redeemer in solidarity for mission to a wounded world.

Despite severe restrictions of the lockdown the mission continues and the Lord keeps sending out his missionaries to reach out to people struggling in the storm of the pandemic with his healing love.

Joseph Ivel Mendanha, C.Ss.R.

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