DAVAO City, Aug. 7, 2015—Priests from different parts of Mindanao converged in St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Maa here to mark the feast of the patron saint of diocesan priests, St. John Marie Vianney on Aug. 4 and to welcome the only diocesan priest ordained in the Archdiocese of Davao for the year.
Through the laying on of hands of Archbishop of Davao Romulo G. Valles, Fr. Raul Nieves received the gift of the sacrament of Holy Orders during the Holy Mass and rite of ordination held on Tuesday.
“Remember that God loved you and served you first before you loved and served Him,” Valles said during his homily, pointing out to the theme chosen by the new priest, ‘Amare et Servire’ (To love and serve).
For his part, Nieves said he is thankful to the archbishop for ordaining him and for reminding him about the love of God.
“Thank you for trusting and loving your son,” said Nieves, adding that he is only sharing in the fullness of the priesthood of the bishop.
Nieves, who during his seminary formation was once sent to work as campus minister and instructor to a Catholic university in Davao City said he can now relate to the feeling of those priests and religious who received the gift of ordination and perpetual vows as he is usually one of the servers during the ceremony.
Also present during the ordination were Auxiliary Bishop of Davao George B. Rimando and Archbishop Emeritus of Davao Fernando R. Capalla, and the families and friends of the newly-ordained, including his classmates in the St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary of Mindanao who are now priests in their respective dioceses in Mindanao.
“Your presence here [at] my ordination is a manifestation of God’s guiding presence in my life and my vocation,” Nieves said. (John Frances C. Fuentes/CBCP News)