By TLS Soc Com
Baucau, Timor Leste, 16 August 2022 -- On 15 August, the Solemnity of Mary’s Assumption, Deacon Fortunato Henrique Flores Soares, SDB, was ordained a priest through the laying on of hands and prayers of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Dili, Archbishop Virgílio do Carmo da Silva, SDB at the Cathedral church of Baucau. Before the main celebration, there was a cultural ceremony in which Deacon Fortunato was brought by his parents and presented to the superior of TLS Vise-Province, Fr. Anacleto Pires, SDB. While they were waiting for the archbishop’s arrival, thousands of lay faithful, mostly young people, arrived to participate in the celebration.
Upon his arrival, Archbishop Virgílio was welcomed by the Diocesan Administrator, Fr. Alípio Pinto Gusmão and the TLS Provincial, Fr. Anacleto Pires, SDB. After visiting the Blessed Sacrament, Archbishop Virgílio led the entrance procession and celebrated the Eucharistic celebration and ordination to the Sacred Order of the Presbyterate for our deacon Fortunato Soares, SDB.
In his homily, Archbishop Virgílio greeted the faithful and invited them to gaze upon Our Lady, our heavenly mother Mary whom we called blessed, to look upon her footsteps, with purified hearts and diligence, so that one day we may be with her in heavenly blessedness. Because of this blessedness, our deacon Fortunato, who has been walking and searching through the years, has arrived at the moment he will be ordained a priest. As we read in the words of Saint Paul which as follow “Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him.” (Eph 1:3-4). God is calling each and everyone to be holy, to be saints. Yet God himself calls some to be His priests to do His work, and it means this vocation is from God himself. This happens according to the will of God since He has a plan for us already even before the world was created.
There were around sixty concelebrating priests mostly from the Salesians of Don Bosco, three deacons, the FMA sisters and some members of the Salesian Family, and other religious sisters. After the final blessing, the newly ordained priest, Fr. Fortunato Soares, SDB had a few words of thanksgiving to each and everyone, especially for his formators and guides, teachers and professors, his parents, friends, and benefactors who have helped him in different ways and means until the day of his ordination. Finally, humbly he asked for prayers from everyone so that he may be faithful to his calling as a Salesian priest forever.