Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, DD, apostolic administrator of Manila ordained six young men to the diaconate and one to the priesthood on Friday, March 19, 2021, Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the Manila Cathedral.
The six men ordained to diaconate were Jason O. Alde, Robert B. Arellano, LRMS, Ryan Jamemar A. Belono-AC, Patrick Carl P. Gunnacao, Mario Avelino C. Mendoza, Jr., LRMS, and Mark Jeferson A. Millet.
Rev. Earl Allyson P. Valdez was ordained to the priesthood.
Reflecting on the ordinariness of St. Joseph as his greatness, Bishop Pabillo reminded the young men that they need not be in the limelight or have titles and positions in the church and society to have an important role to play.
“My dear deacons to be and priest to be, your ordinary service as priest and as deacons will sustain you and nourish the life of the church,” he said.
The bishop also praised and thanked the priests and deacons for being the “real heroes” of the church.
“We, bishops can make plans and pronouncements. But ultimately, it is the work of ordinary priests and deacons that keeps the church going,” he said.
“Like in the military, the generals do the commanding. But the battle is won not by commands and orders but the fighting and the blood of the true soldiers – they are the real heroes. You are the real heroes of the church,” he added.
The bishop considered the ordination as special in other ways even though it is held during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Your preparation for this ordination has been greatly affected by the pandemic. I hope that instead of having weakened your conviction, it has strengthened your will to serve God’s people and has drawn you closer to Jesus,” he said.
The ordination according to the Bishop is also special because it happens within the Year of St. Joseph and takes place on the day of the Solemnity of St. Joseph.
Bishop Pabillo recognized the formators, communities, parents and relatives who nurtured and formed the young men as they heed the call of their vocation.
“Bahagi po kayo ng kanilang bokasyon. Nagsimula po sa inyo ang kanilang pagtugon sa Diyos. Salamat po sa inyong pagkalinga sa kanila hindi lang sa kanilang pangangatawan ngunit sa kanila ding pananampalataya,” he said.
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions on the size of the gathering, the ordination was closed to the public and was only open to the invited family members, relatives and friends. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC | Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC)