Rogationists mark 40 years of PH presence with new priests
The four new Rogationist priests (L-R) Fr. Jorem Bellen RCJ, Fr. Zander Conson RCJ, Fr. Jonrey Lauron RCJ, and Fr. Jose Gasta RCJ, together with the ordaining prelate, Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan BR. CHRISTIAN ALLAN DE SAGUN, RCJ
PARAÑAQUE City – As the Rogationists marked its 40th year of missionary presence in the Philippines, four new priests from the congregation were ordained on Nov. 25, Saturday.
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, D.D., presided over the Holy Mass and the priestly ordination rites of four Rogationist deacons: Jorem Bellen, Zander Conson, Jose Gasta, and Jonrey Lauron.
Opening his homily with words on the miracle of priesthood, Villegas said: “Today, a miracle will happen: you are going to be priests. Your priesthood is nothing but a miracle. Your priesthood cannot be understood by science nor logic, but by faith. If you are going to be priests, it can only be understood by a living faith. It is a miracle of God’s love.”
None but Jesus
He also challenged the new priests with regard to their mission: “What is your mission? To love God… only that. Do not celebrate Mass if you do not love God. Love the children, preach, give the blessing, do everything because you love God. If you make a gesture of blessing without the love of God, you are betraying us, you are cheating us, and you are betraying your vocation.”
The 57-year old prelate added, “You are going to be a minister of miracles. Every Mass, you should be in awe. You should not forget the power of the words. Take care of your vocation, take care of your Jesus in your heart.”
Finally, Villegas concluded with a paternal touch and assurance, “Beginning today brothers, you have changed my life. I have added you to my heart. When you are tempted to question God’s calling for you, we can talk to God together.”
The Provincial Superior of the Rogationist St. Matthew Province, Fr. Herman Abcede, RCJ, thanked the ordaining prelate, the parents of the newly ordained priests, and to all those who took part in the celebration. The Provincial Councilor on Religious Life and Formation, Fr. Ariel Tecson, RCJ, read the papal blessing of Pope Francis for the new ministers.
Fr. Jose Gasta, RCJ also delivered a message on behalf of the new priests, sharing about their first meeting with the ordaining prelate. He also mentioned the scriptural inspiration of their ordination, taken from St. Paul’s words, “By God’s grace, I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10).
Held at the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish in Multinational Village in this city, the ordination was graced by the ordinands’ parents, relatives, friends, and benefactors, as well as concelebrating priests, aspirants, postulants, novices, and religious brothers. Br. John Francis C. Aberion, RCJ / St. Hannibal Rogate Center / CBCPNews