“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit…” (Jn. 15.16)
(India) A Redemptorist confrere Fr. Abhay Kullu, belonging to the province of Bangalore was ordained on the 22nd April, by Most Rev. Vincent Barwa, Bishop of Simdega diocese at Lachragarh parish, Jharkhand. The celebrations ended well with few confreres and limited faithful due to the severe second wave of the pandemic.
The ordination ceremony began on the 22nd morning at 7.00 am in the Sacred Heart parish church with a maximum of fifty members in attendance. Many confreres could not be present for the Eucharist celebration due to covid cases rise in the region. Fr. Sanjay Kujur, the Rector of the Pandripani community represented the provincial government in carrying out the ordination procedures. Most. Rev. Vincent Barwa in his homily recalled the importance of the vocation of the ministerial priesthood. He continued to share the modern challenges and called to abide by the commandment of the Lord to carry out the mission of the Lord in difficult situations.
The parish priest and the parish council went ahead with the planning and preparation for the ordination for the past one month in the parish despite the restrictions from the government administration. The family members and the villagers continued with the preparation in the village.
Usually, ordination is one of the common celebrations of the parish as well as the village where everyone participates. Various groups participate in singing during the holy mass, various groups of women and girls dance on various occasions. Such solemn celebrations last more than two to three hours. Soon after the ordination the Bishop, newly ordained priest, and all the priests and religious are welcomed with singing, dancing, and wishing. The programs would last about two hours depending on the group’s presentations from different villages. The programs would end with the fellowship meal for all. The newly ordained priest then celebrates his first thanksgiving mass in the village on the next day. The villagers together with the family and relatives celebrate joyfully with the Holy Eucharist and then there are programs held to felicitate the newly ordained priest. But unfortunately, all major events were canceled due to the 2nd wave that struck recently.
By the grace of God and the assistance of Mother of Perpetual Help all the celebrations went well as planned. We wish God’s abundant blessings upon Fr. Abhay that he may continue to be firm in his call to carry out the mission of Christ by preaching the message of redemption to the poor and the most abandoned.
Sanjay Tirkey, CSsR.