NAGA City, June 21, 2013—Calling his newly-ordained priests heralds of true freedom, Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona stressed on the new pastors to preach about freedom and salvation that can only be found in Jesus Christ.
Being heralds of true freedom is the mission and identity of a priest, Tirona emphasized on June 12 during the ordination of six deacons to the priesthood at the Basilica Minore de Peñafrancia in Naga City.
Tirona ordained to the priesthood a total of nine deacons, six at the Basilica Minore de Peñafrancia on June 12, and three, in their own respective parishes on different dates. The newly ordained were Rev. Fermin Valiente, Jr., Rev. Ace Baracena, Rev. James Raymond Cortez, Rev. Emmanuel Quiros, Rev. Ronaldo Tud, Rev. Ramel Pajenago, Rev. Sharnsky Cama, Rev. Armand Christian Ortinero, and Rev. Edward Pletado.
Explaining about priesthood as a gift and a grace, the archbishop said it is characterized by a deep relationship with God, a choice that comes from within, from a deep and passionate love for Christ.
Tirona exhorted the new priests “to accept the ministry with joy and humility”, to show Christ to others and to commit oneself to a life of sacrifice, a life detached from power.
Being invested with the stole and chasuble not only marks the acceptance into the Sacred Order, but it also expresses one’s dedication to a life of service to other people, Tirona said.
The archbishop also called on the lay faithful to look after their priests, since the priestly ministry is characterized by and exercised in a community.
He said the faithful have the duty to welcome the priest not only in their homes, but also in their hearts.
“There is a saying that when a visitor comes, Christ comes,” Tirona said, adding “[When] a priest comes, Christ comes.”
He urged the faithful to support the priests in all their endeavors, especially the young, who may get easily discouraged.
“Pray for, and pray with them,” he said. (Natalie Hazel Quimlat)