Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the Ordination to the Sacred Orders of Diaconate and Presbyterate continues to give hope and inspiration to seminarians like me that God still calls servants who are willing to offer their lives and all their gifts for the Church. Early this year, HASS welcomed three new deacons and one priest. They will become a living presence of the mercy and love of God who inspires hope and understanding in these trying times for the Church.
Mysterion Batch 2020’s Rev. Philip Faustino Volante was ordained on February 1, 2021 by Most Rev. Dennis Villarojo, D.D., Bishop of Malolos and Rev. Rodel Aclan was ordained on February 3, 2021 by Most Rev. Roberto Gaa, D.D., Bishop of Novaliches. Rev. Rodel’s ordination was a historic first for it was held at the seminary’s Mary, Queen of Apostles Chapel. After a week, he left for Qatar where he is assigned to minister as member of the clergy of the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia. Rev. Mark Ian Abu from the Caritas de Trinitatis Batch 2019 was ordained on February 15, 2021 by Most Rev. Gilbert Garcera, D.D., Archbishop of Lipa.
On February 2, 2021, HASS was also blessed with the Presbyteral Ordination of Rev. Fr. Julius de Gracia from the Koinonia Batch 2015. He was ordained by Most Rev. Mylo Hubert Vergara, D.D., Bishop of Pasig.
Their ordination would not have been possible without the gracious and merciful approval of the One Who Called. As much as it takes a community to raise and nurture a vocation, it is God who has inspired first the Ordinandi to give their lives for the good of the Church. I always find the vesting of the newly-ordained priest or deacon as a heartwarming scene, not just because the newly-ordained was usually crying while being helped by priests and his parents for the vesting, but also because maybe that part of the ordination rite speaks much of how the newly-ordained has fully accepted Jesus in his life. He allows God to wrap his heart with love—from the lampin when he was young, to a Soutane when he was starting as a seminarian, to an Alb during his theological studies, then now to the priestly vestments reserved for his ordination. But on the ordination day, the newly-ordained must never fail to look up to what is above him on the altar: Jesus, the Eternal High Priest, who is hung almost naked on the Cross. He must remember that there will come a time that he will also be asked to be ‘stripped off’ his garments, be crucified for his priesthood.
In the liturgy of ordination, the participation of the lay faithful is expressed by the Litany of the Saints. Everyone prays; everyone cries to God for mercy. The people figuratively wrap the ordinandus, so to speak, in the mantle of prayer. We call on the saints, that they may be like a mantle protecting the ordinandus in his vocation and in his ministry.
Sem. Keith R. Buenaventura is in his fifth year of formation and a third year theology student. Sem. Keith was an investment risk analyst prior to his entrance to the Holy Apostles Senior Seminary. Sem. Keith is from the Diocese of Antipolo