In times where Filipino spirits are dampened and reckoned with uncertainty, six Augustinian brothers remained steadfast on their mission as they received their ordination rites throughout the celebration of the feast of all the saints in the Order of Saint Augustine (OSA) and the birth anniversary of Saint Augustine of Hippo, OSA’s Spiritual Founder, on November 13, 2021.
Convened under the roof of Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu (BMSN), Rev. James O. Alibong Jr., OSA was ordained to diaconate and his brothers to presbyterate: Rev. Fr. Roner M. Anildes, OSA, Rev. Fr. Jebie U. Jugarap, OSA, Rev. Fr. Rey Cyril C. Lagrosa, OSA, Rev. Fr. Elmer E. Ebol,OSA, and Rev. Fr. John Louis S. Ricamora, OSA.
Heartfelt gratitude was evoked during the ordination as the ordinandees finally welcome their journey as servants of the Lord and His people.
Together with the Augustinian Friars of the Province of Sto. de Cebu-Philippines who welcomed the newly ordained priests and deacon were the families and friends of the ordinandees who also witnessed the momentous event.
His Excellency Most Rev. Antonieto D. Cabajog, D.D. was the presiding prelate who imposed the hands and offered consecrated prayer to the ordinandees.
In his words, the bishop urged the six Augustinians to administer God’s people with a vision of hope especially in these trying times.
“You are [in] charge of a mission of reframing the hopeless reality into a new hope of [the] future of God’s people,” he said.
He added that their responsibility as professors of God’s word is to serve the word of God without excessive self-pride and that they are not masters of God’s words but only God’s beloved messenger.
Bishop Cabajog then stressed that in becoming a priest and a deacon, one must live to proclaim the Gospel, serve the Holy Eucharist, and serve God’s People with Love and Humility.
Bringing his homily to a close, the bishop asked the mass-goers, the family and friends of the ordinandees to pray for their priestly ministry and may they live in a simple and humble service.
“Priesthood,” said the bishop, “is about being [a] proclaimer of truth but God’s truth not your own. It is about showing people the way, by example and leading them along this way, but it must be the Lord’s way, not your own.”
The newly ordained priests and deacon are expected to return to their assigned missions right after the ordination. /Harold Regodos with Grace Noynay, BMSN Media Centre volunteers