Evora, Portugal, 13 April 2018 -- After five years in Portugal, together with other Timorese Salesian students of theology at the Instituto Superior de Teologia (Evora) the two candidates to the priesthood, Cl. Salvador Mauhuno and Cl. Casimiro Morais were ordained on April 7, 2018 as Deacons by Archbishop of Evora, José Francisco Sanches Alves.
A feeling of great joy floods our hearts! Our being does celebrate! Our soul rejoices in the shower of divine graces poured out on our humble persons. All is grace! The grace of the Risen Christ!
Before this great divine gift that is the Diaconate that we have just received, we want to thank God from the bottom of our hearts for the grace of the vocation that has been granted to us. We are children of the Church. It was she who begot us and welcomed us to the exercise of the diaconal ministry. That is why we wish to thank Archbishop of Évora José Francisco Sanches Alves, who with joy and availability accepted the invitation to ordain us.
This day has an origin, a story, a beginning to tell. It was the Lord who gave us His gaze of love, seduced us, called us and consecrated us to a holy and eternal ministry, at the service of the Catholic Church and the Salesian Congregation.
We are the first fruit of an agreement of collaboration between the Provinces of Portugal and Timor Leste (2013), then signed by Fr. Artur Pereira and Fr. João Paulino.
This is one of the reasons for our happiness, although we can not express it in the best way. We have no adequate words to thank Fr Artur and for your help! Ineed your support was very important to us. We are especially grateful to you for welcoming, caring, accompanying, training and sharing with us. You were always willing to help us on a day-to-day basis. You were very concerned in many ways to facilitate our Salesian religious formation and the learning of the Portuguese language during your provincial term. Thank you so much for helping us in our human and spiritual growth!
Another 'Obrigado' - Thanks - to Bro. André, the coordinator of theology students, thank you very much for your dedication, availability, collaboration and sympathy. You were always available to listen and instruct us, to correct the academic work and to encourage us to live the Salesian values in this stage of Salesian formation. With great sorrow of him and ours, we can not count on your presence during this deacon ordination, due to illness.
We thank the Provincial of Portugal, Fr. José Aníbal Mendonça, and his councilors. We thank the Provincial of the Indonesia-Timor Vice-Province (ITM), Fr Apolinário Neto and his councilors. We thank all the Salesians in Portugal and Timor, the Salesian Family, the formation community of Évora and all formators.
We thank the parish priests, the young people, the groups of which we have been or are members, the Salesian confreres, teachers and the staff, those who are present spiritually or even physically, to the formators of the Superior Institute of Theology of Évora and the Catholic University, to the friends in the major seminary, family, friends and benefactors. A warm thanks for your presence that makes us feel the fraternal union in our vocational journey!
We are overwhelmed with joy and gratitude! Joy, because all are part of our life. Gratitude, for what they gave us and gave us. Especially for our Salesian theological and religious formation. We wish to extend this thanks to all those who in various ways have endeavored to make possible the realization of our Salesian vocation towards the priesthood.
We thank God for all those who were the first and principal instruments of His presence in our lives: our parents! Even though they are not physically present, they are represented by some relatives. They are the maternal and paternal arms and embraces of God, His affectionate and tender heart that warms and strengthens us. Thank you very much for the love, for the support, the encouragement and the attentions that have been and are dispensed to us.
We thank Álvaro (Youth Ministry Office) and Miguel Mendes (Province designer) for having prepared and publicized the invitations. To Mr. Orlando (Treasurere of the Province), that person who is the driving force of the conviviality and meal. Thank you very much from the heart.
Finally, we want to thank everyone - friends, family and all others - for the way you have expressed the readiness to participate in this great party.
We ask your prayers to God to help us in this vocational journey and to be faithful and persevering in our Salesian vocation; to be in the world bearers of the love of God for the young, especially the poorest and most abandoned. Pray that we would exercise our Deacon ministry as a service of love, in fidelity.