On the 25th of March 1984, when the Church celebrated the Solemnity of the Incarnation of the Word, Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela founded our Institute. Now on the 30th anniversary of its foundation, the Institute in the Philippines rejoices in celebration the ordination of Br. Ruel Fernandez Juanta to the diaconate and Rev. Deacons Jasper Santos, Valentin Iurochkin and Obinna Anyanwu to the Sacred Priesthood.
Our religious family gathered together in the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Sebastian together with family and friends and members of our Third Order from as far as Nigeria, Hong Kong and Taiwan to witness His Excellency the Most Reverend Gilbert Armea Garcera, Archbishop of Lipa impose his hands on the ordinandi and raising them to the order of the diaconate and the Holy Priesthood.
The grand and imposing Cathedral of San Sebastian served as a suitable backdrop for the solemn liturgical ceremony. The Ordination began with the Archbishop being presented with the candidates after giving his homily, and after they made their assent and promise of obedience, all knelt asking for the prayers of God and of all the saints to strenghten them in their mission and in their new missions, with Fr. Jasper to be sent to Hong Kong, Fr. Valentin to Russia and Fr. Obinna to Tanzania.
Prostrated on the floor of the great Cathedral, as the saints were implored for their help, one could not but feel a closeness and communion with the entire Catholic Church as those that have run the race before us now cheer on those of us who are still fighting the good fight here below, especially those called to such an exalted ministry, to participate in the one and eternal priesthood of Jesus Christ.
Following the Litany, the deacon was first ordained and clothed in his new vestments.
Then it was the turn of the deacons Obinna, Jasper and Valentin kneeling in front of the Archbishop Gilbert, who through the prayer of ordination and the laying on of the hands of His Excellency, now rose as Fathers Valentin, Jasper and Obinna. They were then vested in their priestly chasubles before all the priests presented greeted each one of them.
It was a long journey through many years of the formation process but now, through the grace of perseverance in answering the Lord’s call, they joined the Archbishop in concelebrating their first Mass. After the Mass of Ordination, the new priests proceeding to give their first blessings to the Archbishop and the attendees and later all retired for a celebration at the Seminary.
First Mass of Fr. Jasper Santos, IVE
The following day, Fr. Jasper Santos celebrated his first Mass in the Seminary Chapel of Our Lady of Sheshan, concelebrated by Fathers Valentin and Obinna and all the priests of our Institute present for the occasion, together with numerous guests from Hong Kong, Taiwan and the family and friends of Fr. Jasper in the Philippines. Serving as Assistant was the Provincial Superior, Fr. Miguel Soler.
During the Mass and following an ancient tradition of the Church, Father Jasper presented the cloths which bound his hands and which were used to wipe up the Sacred Chrism used to consecrate his hands during the Mass of ordination to his mother. At the end of her life, she will be buried with these clothes, to appear before the Lord with proof of her having given him a son as a priest.
After the Holy Mass, the newly ordained priests proceeded to consecrate their priestly ministry to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus before the image of the Sacred Heart which stands in the seminary grounds. Then, all the priests and people had the opportunity to venerate the consecrated hands of the priests.
May Our Lord accept the consecration that they have made and make their ministry, in union with Him, exceedingly fruitly.