ASIA/INDIA - Vocations to the priesthood flourish during the pandemic

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Jaipur (Agenzia Fides) - God calls to his service in times of pandemic and the spread of the virus does not curb the desire of young people to consecrate themselves to the service of the Gospel and the Church: as Agenzia Fides learns, two priests were ordained on 27 September in Jaipur, one of the three dioceses in the Rajasthan state of Northwest India. On September 27, Bishop Oswald Lewis of Jaipur led the ordination ceremony of Jackson Rodrigues and Vishal Madtha in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Annunciation, among the joy of the local community, even if the participation in the Eucharist was limited due to the containment measures imposed by the coronavirus. Bishop Lewis said, "You offer all of yourselves, your whole life to the service of God and your neighbor. Become credible witnesses of Christ in the world". The newly ordained priests chose: "To be called to serve in humility" as their motto.
Alongside the new young priests, there are those young people who are beginning the journey of study and discernment towards the priestly life: in the six dioceses of the state of Odisha, in eastern India, the Seminaries welcomed new young candidates for the priesthood during the pandemic, adopting new methods and creative ways for the vocational proposal. And if the minor Seminary of São Paulo found it difficult to involve young people, the dioceses of Berhampur and Rayagada organized "a virtual vocation camp" in 11 parishes, in which 410 boys and girls participated. 36 young people decided to start the journey by enrolling in the minor Seminary of St. Peter.
The "Jyoti Bhavan" ("House of light") minor Seminary of the diocese of Sambalpur also held a vocation camp recruiting 14 candidates for the orientation course in English and 15 for advanced studies.
The diocese of Rourkela has communicated to its four high schools the criteria for the selection of candidates for priestly formation: this year the candidates were recruited only for the congregations working in the diocese of Rourkela. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 30/9/2020)