• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Thursday, 28 November 2019 11:53

Joy as two young SVDs ordained priests for mission


Toub ordination Nov 2019 350It was a full, joyous house at St Paschal’s Chapel, Box Hill earlier this month as two young Divine Word Missionaries, who have undertaken their formation in Australia, were ordained to the priesthood.

Toub Anisong Chanthavong, who is the first person from Laos to join the SVD, and Simon Dominguez Prospero from Mexico, were ordained by Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli and will now take up their first missionary assignments in the AUS Province and Central European Province respectively.

In his homily, Archbishop Comensoli reminded Toub and Simon of Pope Francis’ frequent statements on priests needing to “smell of the sheep” and he also quoted from the Church’s new set of guidelines on the formation of priests: “The fundamental idea is that [priests should be] missionary disciples who are ‘in love’ with the Master, shepherds ‘with the smell of the sheep’, who live in their midst to bring the mercy of God to them. Hence every priest should always feel that he is a disciple on a journey, constantly needing an integrated formation, understood as a continuous configuration to Christ”.

“Note the key words: missionary disciples configured to Christ; shepherds in the midst of God’s people; bearers of God’s mercy,” Archbishop Comensoli said.

“Not ecclesiastical savvy; not intellectual subtlety; not personal prowess. In other words, the priesthood is not about what someone can possess, but about what he is willing to give. For all of us who are priests, this needs to be our constant self-examination: What am I willing to give of Christ to God’s people?

“Brothers, today the Church invites you to make this kind of priestly image your life’s pursuit. No-one here is expecting you to reach this goal immediately – we all understand you are undertaking a journey for life. But we do have hope in you, and offer a prayer of encouragement. In years to come, may others say of you: he is a missionary disciple configured to the Lord, a man of mercy among his people. As we say to you today: become a priest for us, may we come to say of you tomorrow: he is a priest with us.”

Toub and Simon ordination Mass 450Provincial, Fr Henry Adler SVD, said while the final vows Toub and Simon took earlier this year were the peak of their missionary religious formation journey, their ordination to the priesthood was a deeply significant occasion.

“In my remarks, I reminded our men that they are religious missionary priests,” Fr Henry said. “Now they are ordained priests and are ready to go and take up their mission.”

Fr Henry said the ordination Mass was a wonderful occasion.

“It was a full house with a broad multicultural representation and a very strong presence of lay people, taking part in the choir and the liturgy. It was a very joyous celebration,” he said.

“And it was very good to have Archbishop Comensoli perform the ordination which provides another opportunity to connect with him in his diocese, in the local church, which is where, we as missionaries are called to serve, wherever we are.”

The day after their ordinations, the new priests celebrated their first Masses in the local parishes in Melbourne where they served as deacons.

Toub and Simon ordination1 450When taking his vows earlier this year, Simon said that his SVD ministry challenged him “to do more than just talk about love, but to love; or pray for the poor, but pray with the poor”.

“It calls me to a very concrete solidarity with those in need: to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, welcome the stranger or migrant or visit the sick,” he said.

Toub said he was thankful to have been called by God to the missionary priesthood.

“I reflect that my calling is truly God’s initiative and I respond to this call not on my own, but by the grace of God,” he said. “I thank God who is always faithful to me and nurtures my vocation.”

Since their ordinations, both Toub and Simon have already taken up their first missionary assignments.

Simon has been assigned to the Central European province, which includes countries such as Austria, Switzerland and Croatia, where he is hoping to join the SVD’s work with migrants and refugees.

Toub has been assigned to the AUS Province for the Thai District.

“Toub joined us in Thailand and we believe that his presence there as a priest will be significant,” Fr Henry said.