The second event that I was blessed to attend was the ordination to diaconate 7 men (3 Oblates, 3 diocesan seminarians and 1 Franciscan). These new deacons began the immediate journey to be ordained priests that will happen in a few months. I prayed very hard so that they may find deep joy and peace in their relationship with Jesus Christ who called them to sharing in his priesthood. I was also inspired by Archbishop of San Antonio. He is not only such a welcome and warm person but he is a man of deep faith and courage. I think that from now on I will start imitating his boldness in promoting vocations. At the beginning of the Mass he welcomed the congregation and then he said: “I would like to say this: Jesus Christ who has called our brothers who are going to be ordained deacons today is present in this church and I believe that he is touching new hearts to follow his voice. Young people present in this church, please listen and don’t be afraid to say I will follow you Lord as a priest. At the end of the Mass the Bishop asked all seminarians to come forward to the altar but he added: “Those who think that the Lord is calling them now, please come here too.” I like the Bishop. He is straight to the point because there is no doubt that he is happy as priest and bishop himself and he invites other to find the same happiness.
What do these two celebrations have in common? Well, one of the new deacons, Br David, just a day before he was ordained led the vigil service for Fr Robert because the priest who died was not only the one who married his parents but he also encouraged Br David to join the Oblates. What a powerful sign of God working through people. I am sure that Fr Robert was dying with peace and joy that his ministry as an Oblate was to be continued by the man whom he directed years ago. May he rest in peace and may Deacon Robert become a blessing to the people he will be sent to.