SSP India: A new Pauline priest at the service of the Lord

Friday, 13th January 2017 will go down as a historical day in the annals of the Society of St Paul as Deacon Mekala Punna Rao (Mariadas), SSP, the first Pauline from the state of Andhra Pradesh was ordained a priest. His Lordship Chinnabattini Bhaghiah, Bishop of Guntur, ordained him a priest during the Solemn Ceremony at his home parish at Mary Martha Church, Pedda Madduru, Andhra Pradesh. The celebration began with a colourful traditional procession through the village and ended with a short felicitation and fellowship meal. In his homily, His Lordship instructed the Deacon the duties and responsibilities of a Priest, the many challenges he will have to face in his priestly ministry and exhorted him to remain faithful and committed to this special call. He also urged the faithful to dedicate their children to the service of the Lord.

Fr Mariadas celebrated his first Holy Mass at Mary Martha Church in Pedda Madduru on Saturday, 14th January 2017. Both the events were marked by the presence of Fr. Michael Raj, the Provincial Superior, Fr Thomas MJ, the Director of Formation, Superiors and representatives from our various communities and Pauline Family, religious from the surrounding areas, diocesan priests, friends and well-wishers. Fr. Saji Anthony, the Superior of the community of Vijayawada took the lead in the planning and execution of this solemn event and made all the necessary arrangements for the entire function.

We sincerely congratulate Fr Punna Rao and implore the Lord’s choicest blessings upon him so that he continues to be an effective instrument in carrying out the Pauline Apostolate for the masses.