Saturday, August 20, was a day of great joy and hope for the District of Brazil as Deacon Rivaldo Oliveira da Silva, C.S.C., was ordained to the priesthood. This is the first of two priestly Ordinations for the District this year as Deacon Antonio Wanderley Oliveira Dos Santos, C.S.C., will be ordained at Dom Amando School on September 15.
Fr. Oliveira’s Ordination was held in his home parish, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Alagadiço of the state of Sergipe. The Most Rev. João José da Costa, OCarm., of the Archdiocese of Aracajú, presided and preached at the Ordination Mass.
Since August is the Month of Vocations in the Brazilian Church, the Holy Cross community, together with the local parish, hosted a vocational “Triduum” to promote vocations to Holy Cross during the three days prior to the Ordination. Several religious, including our temporarily professed, took part in the events. Each day ended with a special Mass in the evening. Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception has been fertile ground for vocations to the Holy Cross Family, as Br. Ginaldo Rodrigues, C.S.C., and Sr. Elizangela Matos, C.S.C., also hail from the same parish.
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The deep faith of the community was certainly on display as the parish church overflowed with worshipers for the Ordination Mass. Their joyful singing and praying could be heard out in the Church’s plaza and the surrounding streets. Among the Holy Cross religious present were Br. Ronaldo Almeida, C.S.C., Superior, and two of Fr. Rivaldo’s former formators, Br. Edson Pereira, C.S.C., Assistant Superior, and Fr. Andrew Gawrych, C.S.C., now the Third Assistant General, who was also representing the District of Chile-Peru.
After a short fireworks display at the conclusion of the Mass, all were invited to a reception in the town’s school that included more music, singing, and a fair share of dancing into the late hours of the evening.
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The following morning, Sunday, 21 August, Fr. Rivaldo celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving in his parish church. At the end of the Mass, Br. Ronaldo offered words of thanks to the local community and Rivaldo’s family for nurturing his vocation. “The missionary ardor that accompanied Father Moreau throughout his life and guided him to cross many distant frontiers, which captivated and motivated so many other religious, brought Holy Cross to our contemporary existence so that we can continue to be a living presence of hope, love, and prophecy in a world still fallen and affected by so many evils,” said Br. Ronaldo.
As a newly ordained priest, Fr. Rivaldo will continue his work as the District’s Director of Vocations and assist at St. Joseph Parish in Jaguaré in the state of São Paolo.