As the universal Church was celebrating the day when the Word was made flesh, the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word in East Asia gathered at San Sebastian Cathedral, Lipá, Batangas for another historical event in the history of the Province of Our Lady of Sheshan: their first ordination to the diaconate.
Bro. Matthias Fang, IVE was raised to the order of deaconate during the solemn ordination presided by Lipá Archbishop Ramón C. Argüelles, concelebrated by 8 priests of the Institute of the Incarnate Word from Taiwan and the Philippines, including his formators from Sheshan Houses of Formation
Also attending the event were the Sisters Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará and members of the Third Order in Caloöcan and in Lipá.
During the homily, Archbishop Ramón congratulated the Religious Family, saying that he ‘feels honored for contributing a new missionary worker to those churches who are in need’ as that the day was also meant to be a celebration of the missionary ventures of the IVE. The Institute of the Incarnate Word is serving in more than 38 countries around the world, including the Middle East were a fierce Christian genocide broke out.
On the same day, the novices of our Religious Family consecrated themselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary, after a 33-day preparation according to the method of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort. This also marks the final stage of their novitiate year.
After the celebration, the guests were treated with a special lunch at San Sebastian Hall, capped with the traditional fogón.
The deacons of the Catholic Church, “who receive the imposition of hands ‘not unto the priesthood, but unto the ministry” fulfills many functions, being ordinary ministers of the Eucharist, they are to assist in the distribution of Holy Communion, assist at and bless marriages, proclaim the Gospel and preach, preside over funerals and dedicate themselves to various ministries of charity. Closely identified with the bishops, they are said to be the “the eyes and ears, the mouth, heart, and soul of the bishop”
We thank God for his big grace for our Religious Family. May through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may ever learn to appreciate the Holy Orders: “Let everyone revere the deacons as Jesus Christ, the bishop as the image of the Father, and the presbyters as the senate of God and the assembly of the apostles. For without them one cannot speak of the Church.” (St. Ignatius of Antioch)
For more photos, click here.