Jerusalem, 14 June 2022 -- On 12 June 2022, at the Church of All Nations in Gethsemane, Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM, ordained nine young Salesians from the Salesian Monastery of Ratisbonne as deacons. Among the newly ordained deacons there were two from Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands Vice-Province (PGS). They shared their reflections on this special day.
Rev Sylvester Kuli:
"June 12, 2022, is a very memorable day for us 9 Salesians. We were ordained deacons in the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed for strength to obey God’s will on the night before he was betrayed. We have chosen as our diaconate ordination theme from Lk 22, 27: 'I am among you as one who serves'. To me these are powerful reminders that my life as a deacon should be shaped by obedience to God’s will and the attitude of service to others.
I am ever grateful to the Congregation and to our PGS Vice-Province for giving us the chance to study in the Holy Land. This unique privilege has helped me to love even more the Word of God. The experience of living in an international community of Salesians in Ratisbonne and fostering interculturality is a challenge but is also helping me to learn to deal with confreres from different cultures with different perspectives. In the final analyses, I believe I have become a better person and a better Salesian."
Rev Bernard Kaiau:
"Reflecting on our recent ordination I realized that Sylvester and I are actually the first Papua New Guineans to be ordained in the Holy Land. What a privilege! But above all, what a challenge!
As we laid prostrate, I recalled our ordination theme. If I have to actually put Lk 22, 27 into practice, it will demand from me the attitude of humble service and availability to help anyone who would need my help.
Living in an international community of Salesians is challenging, even if I come from a small PGS Vice-Province of less than 50 confreres of 17 nationalities. Nevertheless, I have found my experience in Ratisbonne to be helpful in developing in me the confidence to deal with people coming from different cultures.
Indeed, studying theology in the Holy Land is a unique privilege, but living the theological truths we study is an even greater responsibility!"