The India-Nigeria-UK-Ireland Province of the Society of St Paul had yet another beautiful moment on Sunday 7th May 2017 when Dn J. Francis Xavier was ordained a priest. Together with two other deacons from the Diocese of Coimbatore, Francis was ordained by His Lordship Most Rev Dr Thomas Aquinas, the bishop of the same diocese. The glittering grand ceremony began at 5.30 pm at St Michael’s Cathedral, Coimbatore, with a solemn procession of the ordinantis with their parents followed by the bishop, hundreds of priests, religious and lay people. The solemn Holy Eucharist was presided over by the bishop and concelebrated by several of priests from the diocese and from the Society of St Paul, including Fr Devasia Puthiyaparambil, the Vicar Provincial and Fr Thomas M.J., the Director of Formation. The function was also attended by other brothers and sisters from the Pauline Family. In his homily the bishop enumerated duties of the priest and reminded them the challenges and relevance of the priestly life especially in the Indian context. The celebration was meticulously planned and orderly conducted.
On the following day, on Monday, 8th May 2017, Fr Francis celebrated his first Holy Mass in his home parish, St Francis Xavier Church, Savariarpalayam. Large number of Paulines and diocesan priests joined in the First Mass of Fr. Francis. This event too was attended by many members, sisters from the Daughters of St Paul, religious, friends and well-wishers. The solemn Eucharistic Celebration was preceded by a procession through the hometown of Fr Francis. Large number of villagers and neighbors came out to see and greet the newly ordained who was moving towards the Church in a decorated vehicle. Fr. Gregory Rayappan SSP, in his homily highlighted the significance of priesthood and the demands and challenges it poses to the priest.
Hearty congratulations and prayerful wishes to Fr Francis as he ascends the altar of God. May the Lord help him to be a faithful and effective Pauline Priest at the service of the Congregation.