The Society of Mary-District of Asia is blessed to have 2 newly ordained priests.
Fr. Roque Rebito, sm from Lebak, Sultan Kudarat and Fr. John Gou Wang, sm from China were ordained by Archbishop Romulo Valles, DD, Archbishop of Davao at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish on November 17, 2016 in Davao City, Philippines.
Prior to the ordination, Fr. Roque and Fr. John had a recollection with their family where there they have the opportunity to meet, pray and share their feelings and thoughts regarding the ordination. Each of their family promised to continue to support them with prayers.
Attending their ordination was their families who travelled from Lebak and China to grace this beautiful occasion. Among those who attended were Fr. John Hannan, sm, the superior general of the Society of Mary as well as Fr. Pat Breeze, sm, the novice master of Fr. Roque and Fr. John in their novitiate. Many Marist priests concelebrated with some diocesan priests and religious who have known Fr. Roque and Fr. John. Members of the Marist family, friends and relatives have all come to celebrate and witness the ordination.
In his homily, Archbishop Valles, DD reminded Fr. Roque and Fr. John that they are ordained not only for the Society of Mary but for the whole Church. He continued to say that as priests they are to live and minister as the person and presence of Jesus Christ. He challenged them to be instruments of mercy and to live out the virtues of Mary.
After the ordination rite, lunch was prepared. During the reception, the SMSM sisters through their students rendered a traditional Tongan dance which Fr. Roque and Fr. John joined along with other guests. Fr. Roque has lived and worked in Tonga for two years during his Pastoral Year as a seminarian.
The celebration ended with the singing of the Salve Regina to honor Mary for graciously choosing Fr. Roque and Fr. John to bear her name and do her work. Fr. John Hannan, sm gave the final blessing.
We thanked their own families for their joyful sacrifice and generously offering Fr. Roque and Fr. John to God, to the Church and to the Society of Mary. We are grateful also for the many people who have helped, journeyed and prayed for them during their formative years.
May we continue to support and pray for them as they begin their life and ministry as Marist priests.
Fr. Roque is the 13th Filipino Marist to be ordained and Fr. John is the first Chinese Marist.
Congratulations Fr. Roque and Fr. John. Blessings and happy years ahead!