SSP India: Diaconate Ordinations in Vijayawada

The Spirit of the Lord descended upon Br Mekala Punna Rao our first vocation from Andhra Pradesh and Br Francis Xavier who hails from Coimbatore in a unique way on 30 June 2016 on the feast of St Paul our patron. They were ordained deacons by his Lordship Most Rev Joseph Raja Rao, bishop of Vijayawada during the Solemn Eucharistic Celebration at 10.30 am in our community Chapel, Vijayawada.

In his homily, Bishop Joseph spoke of the wonderful Charism handed over to the Paulines by our Founder Blessed James Alberione and invited the deacons to practice the virtue of hospitality towards all like Jesus our Divine Master. He reminded the deacons of their duty as the ministers of the Word and of different sacraments and to be ever at the service of Jesus and Jesus’ people.

The concelebrated diaconate ordination was attended by Fr Thomas MJ, Director of Formation; Fr Gregory Rayappan, the Superior and master of the deacons, confreres from other communities along with clergy, religious, and family members, friends and well-wishers of Brs Francis and Punna Rao. Fr Saji Antony, the superior of the community welcomed the gathering and acknowledged the generous contribution of all the members of the community and the religious from the neighbouring religious communities towards the success of the event. Fr Richard Amaladas, the MC of the day saw to the meticulous execution of the ceremony.

During the short felicitation programme, Dn Mekala Punna Rao, on behalf of the deacons, thanked God Almighty for calling them to Society of St Paul and for raising them to the sacred order of diaconate, the Bishop for ordaining them deacons and Fr Saji and community for hosting the event with such planning and perfection and all gathered for their gracious presence, prayers and support. The joyful and Spirit-filled diaconate ordination came to conclusion with an agape.

Congratulations dear Deacons Francis and Mekala and we wish you both a fruitful diaconate ministry!