Mannar, Sri Lanka. On April 20, 2023, Most Rev. Emmanuel Fernando, Bishop of Mannar ordained six Claretian Deacons of St. Joseph Vaz Independent Delegation at St. Sebastian’s Cathedral in Mannar, Sri Lanka.
The six deacons ordained priests are Frs. Anthony Desmond Croos, Alex Kipson Antony Danoshan, Charles Mathews Desmenraj, Gunaseelan Selexon, Sahayanathan Rajasekar Dias, and Yogapalan Sutharsan, CMFF.
Being a Claretian missionary means following the legacy of the founder, Saint Anthony Mary Claret, who dedicated his life to evangelization, education, and service to those most in need. Claretian missionaries, also known as Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, have their mission to bring the Gospel message to all people, especially those who have not heard it, and to work for justice, peace, and human dignity.
With their priestly ordination, they become Claretian priests. Within their charism, they receive a new ministry that can be summarised in the words of Benedict XVI.
“From priests, the faithful expect only one thing: to be specialists in promoting the encounter between Man and God. The priest is not asked to be an economics, construction, or politics expert. He is expected to be an expert in the spiritual life. (…) What the faithful expect from him is that he be a witness to the entire Wisdom contained in the revealed Word”
(Benedict XVI, Address to the Clergy, Warsaw Cathedral, 25 May 2006).
With these ordinations, the number of Claretian Missionary priests incardinated in the St. Joseph Vaz Delegation rises to 46. The new priests have received their first appointment to minister in Claretian parishes and institutions, continuing the mission of evangelization, formation, and service to the community.