Priestly Ordination in Madagascar

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The Redemptorist Community of Madagascar is still rejoicing and giving thanks to God for the priestly ordination of Deacon Rakotofiringa Rindra Ferdinand, Redemptorist of the Vice Province of Madagascar, by Msgr. Rosario Vella, Bishop of Moramanga. It occurred on Sunday, 23 April, at the Parish of St. Gerard in Anjiro. There was also the diaconal ordination of Fiandrianana Mathieu, a diocesan cleric. The new redemptorist priest was joyfully welcomed by the Redemptorist family led by the new vice provincial government, the priests who do pastoral work together in the diocese, and many faithful who participated in this celebration.

Father Rindra was born on 30 May 1993 and baptised on 01 October 1993. He is the last of three children. He goes from a practising Catholic family; his parents are simple and noble farmers from Mahitsy, a state district near the capital of Antananarivo. In 2017, Rindra was orphaned by his mother while in the novitiate. He received an education in a Catholic school. In 2012, he felt an irresistible call. A friend invited and convinced him to attend a training session for young people who wanted to become Redemptorist missionaries and live to the Redeemer’s glory in the present time and for eternity. On this occasion, Rindra first became acquainted with the Redemptorist Congregation, whose spirituality he was immediately fascinated by because it was dedicated primarily to the rural poor. It was surprising how following his dialogue with the priest in charge, Rindra was immediately accepted to begin the formation; in addition to a genuine spontaneity and inner beauty, he already had the required diploma. Rindra entered as a Redemptorist pre-postulant on 20 November 2012 and continued his formation smoothly, taking his first vows on 29 September 2017. After three years of theology, he took perpetual vows on 21 August 2021 and was ordained a deacon the next day.

Problems and difficulties also came for him. Five days before his first proposed ordination to the priesthood with his classmates on 16 August 2022, Rindra had to stop for a short time until the obstacles were overcome. We give thanks to God because he is now ordained a priest to the joy of the entire Holy Mother Church and is assigned to minister in our pastoral community in Vondrozo. “There are times of trials in the following of Christ,” says Rindra, “but they are not meant to discourage us because it is in them that disciples learn to improve their discipleship journey and experience great and true joy afterwards”.

May our Mother Perpetual Help, our holy Founder and all the saints and blessed of our Congregation always accompany our confrere as he follows the Most Holy Redeemer as a priest.

Fr. Venance Vahiny, CSsR

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