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By our own correspondent

Montevideo, Uruguay, 23 November 2020 -- On the evening of 21 November 2020 two Salesians belonging to the Uruguay province were ordained to the priesthood in an outdoor Mass, by the Salesian Archbishop of Montevideo, Cardinal Daniel Sturla: Fr Nicolas Martin Soto from Uruguay and Fr Dominic Tran Duc Thanh from Vietnam.

Under the pandemic restrictions the Eucharist was celebrated in the yard of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in Montevideo with a limited participation by Salesians and close lay mission partners. The whole ordination was live streamed on the FB page of 'Comunicacion Salesiana Uruguay' (URU province).

At the end of the Eucharist both new priests shared their heart. Fr Antonio in Uruguay Spanish shared 3 key words: 'Gratitude-thanks, Happiness and Being loved', while Fr Dominic Tran addressed those following online in English and Vietnamese. The Vietnamese missionary first gave thanks for all who accompanied him on his vocation journey, including his present SDB provincial Fr. Alfonso Maria Bauer, who was for the past 8 years also his spiritual director. Then Fr Dominic shared his personal project of life as a new Salesian priest: 'To be fully human and full of Jesus, always close to the young people in simplicity and joy.' Fr Dominic has chosen for his ordination the Scripture verse 'Caritas Christi Urget Nos' (2 Cor 5:14).

The province of Uruguay started with the second SDB missionary expedition in 1877 (Villa Colon) and this year comprises 12 canonical houses and 73 professed Salesian members. One of the SF groups the 'Contemplative Fraternity of Nazareth' was born in Uruguay (1977) and also the 'Mamma Margaret' Association of SDB Salesian parents was launched in Montevideo in 1988. At present the interprovincial novitiate of four countries: Argentina-Uruguay-Chile-Paraguay) is located in the former theologate in Montevideo.

Personal sharing of Fr. Dominic at the end of the MASS:

"The Church is an encounter full of joy, it is a feast that shows the faith of one and the other, an encounter that implies unity and holiness. These days, I try to concentrate on the project of my life as a priestly religious. One of the things that makes me reflect a lot is: Prepare the human heart for the following of Christ. Educate a human heart to be with my brothers and others. A faithful following of Jesus as a King of love, which makes me fully mature. In Uruguay, I am a young man and I have nothing; all I have is faith, the faith of knowing that Christ and Mary are always present in my life; the hope of a Church ever closer, full of holiness and joy. Pray for Soto and me, so that we may be good priests, very human, simple, like Jesus who is the Good Shepherd and the king of love."

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