The Congregation of Holy Cross welcomes five new priests from two Provinces and one Vicariate in India.
On April 18 from the North-East Province of India, Fr. Vicky Lamin Gayang, C.S.C., was ordained by the Most Rev. Victor Lyngdoh, D.D., of the Archdiocese of Shillong. The ordination took place in his home parish of St. Paul’s Church, Sohkha Shnong. Dressed in traditional Khasi attire and accompanied by tribal musicians and dancers, Fr. Vicky was presented by his parents and Fr. Simon Fernandes, C.S.C., Superior of the Province of North-East India.
The ceremony was held outside under a tent to accommodate the large number of parishioners, family, and friends in attendance. Prior to the April 25 lockdown in some areas, the North-East part of the country had been relatively spared from the devastating impact of COVID-19 that had been experienced in other parts of the country, thus allowing for the larger outdoor celebration.
After the Mass, there was a cultural program and felicitation of Fr. Vicky, which was followed by a festive meal for community, family, and invited guests.
Fr. Vicky, C.S.C., will serve as Assistant Parish Priest at Holy Cross Parish, Champhai, Mizoram.
The Province of South India welcomed three new priests to the Congregation in April. Fr. Jijo Philip Koottamackal, C.S.C., was ordained to the priesthood in the Syro-Malabar Rite on April 15 at St. Mary's Church in Neelivayal, Idukki. The Most Rev. John Nellikkunnel, Bishop of Idukki, Kerala, was the ordaining Bishop. According to the Rite, the ordination takes place before the Mass, which is then celebrated by the newly ordained. Fr. Jijo Kudilil, C.S.C., preached the homily.
Because of COVID protocols, only 150 people were allowed to attend the ceremony. Travel restrictions prevented Fr. Roque D’Costa, C.S.C., Superior of the Province of South India, and many other Holy Cross priests to be present for the ceremony. Thankfully, Fr. Jijo’s family were able to attend and celebrate with him.
Fr. Jijo will begin his ministry as Assistant Parish Priest in St. Anthony's Parish, Chengalam, Kerala. He will also be the assistant Vocation Promoter for the state of Kerala.
Two weeks later, on April 28, the Most Rev. Peter Machado, Archbishop of Bangalore, conferred the sacrament of Holy Orders on Fr. Roshan Miniin D’Souza, C.S.C., and Fr. Praveen Bandula, C.S.C., at the Chapel of Paalana Bhavana at the Archbishop’s Residence in Bangalore. The ceremony, originally scheduled for St. André Chapel, Sakalavara, Bangalore, was transferred to the Archbishop’s house at the last minute because of the COVID crisis.
Unfortunately, family members were excluded from attending as only a handful of people could be present at the ordination ceremony. Fr. D’Costa concelebrated with a few other Holy Cross Priests in the area. The Liturgy was prepared by Fr. Joyson Barbosa, C.S.C. Those in formation assisted as altar servers and the ordination was live-streamed for family and friends. It is available to watch on YouTube.
Despite the restrictions, both ordinations were followed with joyful felicitations of the newly ordained and a delicious meal prepared for the invited guests. Fr. Roshan looks forward to ministry as assistant parish priest at St. Louis Parish, in Dahisar, Mumbai, and Fr. Praveen’s assignment is still pending.
The Vicariate of Tamil Nadu celebrated the priestly ordination of Fr. Manoj Kulanthai Rathinam, C.S.C., on April 24. The ordination took place at his home parish in Thottiam, Trichy. The Most. Rev. Antonisamy Francis, Bishop of the Diocese of Kumbakonam, presided at the ordination. Fr. Panneer Selvam, C.S.C., Superior of the Vicariate of Tamil Nadu, was also present.
The Vicariate followed as much as possible COVID protocols with proper mask-wearing and social distancing. Thankfully, Fr. Manoj’s family was able to attend the ceremony in addition to more than fifty percent of the Vicariate membership, who enjoyed a wonderful fellowship after the Mass.
Fr. Manoj served as a Deacon at the Sentharapatti Parish in the Diocese of Salem, but his new assignment as a priest is still pending.