By Fr. Alde Bureros, sss
On the morning of July 14, 2018, we gathered together at the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament in Sta. Cruz, Manila to witness the diaconal ordination of Rev. Tonny Akena, SSS, Rev. John Muyingo, SSS and Rev. Noman Nasser, SSS. Thanks be to God such ordination has been happening every year these past few years, but we cannot grow used to the manifestations of Christ’s goodness, who constantly assists the Church as he promised, granting vocations to the priesthood. Such event signals enormous hope for the Congregation in the pursuit of its Eucharistic mission not only in the Philippines but also abroad. We believe that the three newly ordained deacons have reached a realization to respond proactively to the demands of the priestly-religious ministry especially in areas to where they will be sent. As Pope Francis has been constantly reminding the servants and ministers of the Church, “You must frequent the peripheries, those urban, those social and those existential.”
The ordination to the diaconate happened as the Church in the Philippines celebrates the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons. The aim of this year’s celebration is the renewal of clergy and consecrated persons so that they become role models and authentic witnesses to Christianity, that is, not putting themselves on pedestals and positions of authority but being examples of humble service to others and witnessing to the life of Jesus with credibility and integrity. Thus, they are to exercise the diaconate with charity and humility, as collaborators of the bishop, superiors, and priests, in the service of the Christian people. By their acceptance, Rev. Tonny, Rev. John, and Rev. Noman manifest their desire to follow in the footsteps of Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, who willed to make himself the servant of all. We pray that they may always fix their gaze upon Him as the supreme model of availability in their ministry.
Let us ask the Holy Spirit to increase not only in our Congregation but throughout the world the number of sacred ministers who are well prepared and enthusiastic, in love with our Lord and dedicated entirely to the service of souls. In a word, may he grant us an abundance of holy priests, truly committed to the ministry entrusted to them.