Vote of Thanks – ORDINATI DAY 2022
My dear friends, it gives me great joy on behalf of my brother priests ordained in the year 2020, 2021 and 2022, to say a word of thanks for all the warmth and love that we have received, not just today but for the past many years that we have been associated and part of the St. Pius X family. It is such a pleasure to share in the intensity of emotions filling this chapel, as some of us have crossed over from the pews to the altar. This transition is not some achievement or right that we have earned, but simply a gift from God given to each one. And so today with grateful hearts we thank God for his faithfulness and generosity for the gift of the priesthood and for calling us to be His priests.
Looking back, we may be wondering where the years have gone. It doesn’t seem that long ago when we entered the gates of St. Pius with the simple desire of dedicating our lives to God and His People. Yet when we entered, eight years seemed like eternity. After dealing with our batches, they seemed like eternity to the staff as well!
But jokes apart, we thank all our staff members: residential, visiting, all the teaching and non-teaching staff, our benefactors and everyone who has contributed to our formation. While we were being intellectually formed within the walls of the classroom, our character and personality was under formation always and so even our workers, watchmen, kitchen staff, Jennifer our receptionist and all those who might not fit the text book definition of a formator, need to be specially mentioned for their contribution.
Our moderators and spiritual directors have worked closely with us, knowing us personally – both in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. We owe a lot to them to challenge us and keep pushing us to excel, most of the times against our own wishes. While we got comfortable and relaxed, their evaluation and “friendly” feedback kept us on our toes. We might have disagreed with them then, but today we are thankful for their honesty and caring opinion given with our best interest in mind. I must mention, some of us are still in disagreement with a few evaluations, but we thank you for being our friends, understanding our struggles and being patient with us while we made sense of our own nonsense. We remember fondly today, our spiritual directors Fr. Roland, Fr. Feliu, Fr. Jerome and also our visit professors who have passed away but played such an important role to make us, not only better priests but firstly better human beings.
Lastly but most importantly, we would like to thank you brothers and lay students, those known to us and also those not known to us for being part of the journey. Your presence and accompaniment have been an encouraging force to enable us to take steps towards God. As fellow seminarians and class mates, you have known us better than the staff members, your feedback was the most dreaded because it was sincere and honest, you have tolerated us at our worst and motivated us to be our best. The joy and laughter, moments of happiness along with the occasional disagreements and creative differences have been stepping stones to the priesthood. We are grateful for all such experiences that now we treasure in our hearts as memories.
As we are ordained at a time in history when our world is dealing with enormous challenges . . . but at a time when the opportunities created by those challenges have never been greater. We were senior brothers in the Seminary and now we are back to being infant / orient / propaedeutic priests in the Church. But thanks to St. Pius Family we are ready to be a new generation of priests that will show forth the real face of Christ and His Church in the world hiding behind filters and photoshop. As we start a new chapter in our lives, armed with the skills and knowledge we have attained here in this seminary, I am sure that we will touch lives and draw people to God, not because of our talents but because of His grace of using us to be His instruments. While we celebrate our past days and activities in the Seminary, I assure you that we will continue our quest for excellence and to discover our own unique ways to contribute to the Church.
In closing, I ask you all to always pray for us and you can be assured of our prayers for each one of you.
Fr. Kelvin Santis