Friday, July 22, 2011

BIS #2462 MINISTERIAL PRIESTHOOD

Divyadaan Correspondent
Nashik, July 22, 2011: On July 20-21, 2011 a two-day recollection was held for the priests of the Diocese of Nashik. At 7:30 pm nineteen priests made their way to Divyadaan to attend the recollection animated by the Salesian communities. They were led by Bishop Lourdes Daniel.
 
The focus of the recollection was, "Ministerial Priesthood" and was animated by Fr. Tony D'Souza. In addition to contributing to the spiritual growth of the clergy - a task close to the heart of Don Bosco, our founder - was a concrete way chosen to prepare for the visit of the Relic of Don Bosco. An enthusiastic clergy can enthuse the people and in some way make this visit of the Relic a moment of renewal and of deepening the faith of the many Christians in the far-flung mission parishes of the diocese.
 
Fr. Solomon, the novice master welcomed the Priests to the Salesian campus. The recollection began with a very interesting reflection made by Fr. D’Souza on the topic. Drawing from the various Church documents, he drew attention of the gathered assembly to the need for a clergy focussed on ministry and especially on identity. He drew from his vast experience and on the feedback that lay people give on priests, to highlight this need today especially in the face of the various scandals that abound. There was a time for personal prayer and reflection on each one's perception of the priesthood and ministry. After dinner the film ‘John Paul II’ was screened.
 
The next day began with a Lectio Divina on the "Washing of the Feet". Fr. D’Souza gave a short introduction on the method of the Lectio. The priests were then divided into smaller groups.
 
A movie on the visit of the Relic was screened. Fr. D’Souza shared with the group the Life and Spirituality of Don Bosco. Moving quickly through Don Bosco's life and his method of the preventive system, Fr. Tony dealt at some length on the sacramental, ecclesial and spiritual dimensions of the Salesian way of life.
 
The Eucharist was the crowning moment of the day, celebrated by Bishop Lourdes Daniel and concelebrated by thirty other priests. The focus returned once more to the Ministerial Priesthood. In his homily, Fr. D’Souza reiterated the need for priests to put on Christ and never to take their priesthood for granted. He exhorted one and all to live the compassion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to avoid the typical temptations to power, wealth and glory. After the homily, Bishop Lourdes, in imitation of Christ washed the feet of twelve priests. This was one of the most memorable moments of the day. Bishop Lourdes insisted that this was meant to be more than a mere ritual. He wanted to convey to his Priests his desire to understand and love them and to be of service to them always. Coming as it did from a pastor - who in the last six months he has come to the Diocese of Nashik - has sincerely been practicing this intention. The priests were moved by this significant gesture.
 
At 12.30pm the two day programme came to an end, and the groups sincerely thanked all those who made this programme a success: Fr. Tony D’Souza, the animator; Fr Savio D'Souza and the community of Divyadaan for their warm hospitality, Fr. Solomon the coordinator of the program; and, all the Salesians of Nashik. The Salesian communities in turn felt a great sense of satisfaction at having helped the clergy of the diocese to live their ministerial priesthood with greater commitment to service and living compassion; and, to also build enthusiasm for the forthcoming visit of the relic of Don Bosco.

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