The Priestly Ordination
of Three of
My Closest Friends

By John Xtian

The Priestly Ordination of three of My Closest Friends and Finding Their Purpose in God

This is a story of three of friends who became priests and how they impacted our lives.

The priestly ordination

I was together with Fr. Vince for 8 years in the seminary. I was together with Fr. Keith for 4 years in the seminary. When I say together, I mean like we slept in the same dormitory; we ate the same food, played the same games, studied in the same study room, and went to the same school.

Priestly Ordination

Time flies and it seemed like it all happened in a flash and now, they are priests. They had their priestly ordination last May 24, 2018.

Fr. Vince

Fr. Vince was my classmate and he and I were together in the seminary starting the age of 12 years old until we turned 20. He is an epitome of a good person, I don’t know how to expound it further, if it can even be expounded further. He really is such a good guy. He was one of the bright students in class. Balanced studies, games and spirituality.

Priestly Ordination

I was still too naive at my age of that time to have an opinion that this fellow will someday become a priest.

When we got into college, it started to become apparent that he will become a consecrated man.

Fr. Keith A.

Fr. Keith was an incoming 2nd year college student when we got into college seminary. He was a jolly, accommodating person. He made sure that everyone feels welcomed. He attended to our needs, helped us adjust as first year college seminarians. Bright and intelligent. Knows a lot about computers. Very straightforward and caring, thinks about the welfare of everyone.

Priestly Ordination

Keith took up a 5 year course, which made him an adopted batchmate. The year he graduated college was also the year our batch graduated in college, Fr. Vince included.

Fr. Keith B.

I may not have abundant shared times with Keith B, but my memories of those encounters with him will never fail. I recall those years when Keith B was still a Novice; and I was in fourth year high school, and it was all about games, music and laughter.

Rarely do you see a person who can balance these traits and still keep about him a heightened sense of sociability and intelligence. For most people, it is either a concentration of intelligence and lacking in motor skills or the other way around. 

But this does not apply to Keith B. He is good in playing football, but the same can be said when he plays basketball. He can play the guitar, piano, bass, drums and I don’t know what others. He is packed with talents. 

No wonder the Lord picked him to serve Him. He got the free pass when God gave away the advanced give-away for talents.

But, despite all these, Keith B remains grounded. Humble to no end. Keith knows what it’s like to be tried and tested. 

Priestly Ordination

But, he also knows what it’s like to triumph. He knows what it’s like to have God always at his side. He experienced it first hand.

These are three of the many people that I am so proud of, for they’re not just friends – they’re family.

These are three of the many people that I am so proud of, for they’re not just friends – they’re family.

Diaconate

When they decided to perpetually profess their lives in service to God, we went to Don Bosco Paranaque to witness their selfless dedication. Keith B already took his way back.

Diaconate

They professed the vows of chastity poverty and obedience. Living chaste – resisting the temptations and cravings of the flesh. They are to live poor – no wordly material possessions, all things are owned by everyone in the community. They are to live obedient – whatever their superior will say, they are to execute them.

These are not easy vows to take and live by. Even some have transgressed and one can easily transgress.

Diaconate

One needs to have a strong heart, mind, body and soul to take these head on. It is very easy to get tempted nowadays; but, not for these two. They have an army of people praying for them, legions of angels doing the same and looking after their every action, making sure the right thing is done.

I can say they will live by those vows they took, but they, nevertheless, need are prayers. Just like ours, their everyday lives are a constant struggle. They are the main targets of the works of the devil, because they are one of those who are heavily responsible for sowing good things on this earth. But, with the help of our Lord, evil never succeeds.

Diaconate
Diaconate
Diaconate

The Rite of Ordination

Less than a year after they perpetually professed, their ordination to become priests followed! I made sure to be there and was able to document the solemn event.

Priestly Ordination

Priestly Ordination

I can vividly recall that things that was happening in front of me, at that time. At that time I know what was unfolding in front of me. I was aware that my friends, slowly and bit by bit, were receiving the rites or ordination. And it all seemed so surreal, I can not seem to believe what was happening.

Priestly Ordination

At that moment, I was transported back to the time when we were still seminarians (immature but somehow knew what we were getting ourselves into) and recalled, as if it was only yesterday, our games in the football field, getting competitive, trying to best each other who belong to each respective, opposing team. 

Priestly Ordination

Playing fusball, strategizing and positioning our angles in hitting the ball to make the goal, making fancy moves when doing a serve in our pingpong games just like how the pros do it as if the fanciness makes a difference, lying on the sofa after meditation to make the most out of that little time to squeeze in a few minutes of sleep before heading to the refectory to eat breakfast, talking about all silly stuff after eating dinner – all these memories came back rushing when I witnessed what was in front of me. It almost made me cry. 

Priestly Ordination

I made a lot of memories with these three new priests.

Looking back at all those years, we developed a deep sense of camaraderie in those long extended years of being together. Who wouldn’t?

Responsibility even before their Ordination

We were the youth those days, led and cared of by our formators: the brothers and priests.

But, now, these friends are the ones leading and caring for the youth.

Priestly Ordination

Time keeps on going and as it goes, it truly gives a person a heavy burden of responsibility towards our family, fellow men and the community; but also prepares us along the way to take on these challenges. God is here, the Lord is always present, always with us.

Priestly Ordination

They are now ordained pastors. They are married to the Church and Christ, forever serving Him.

Gallery

Here’s a carousel (scrollable gallery) of pictures during the ordination

My Long standing agreement

It has always been our play that once Vince and Keith A become priests, they will conduct our marriage.

I can never think of a better thing to happen than to be wedded by these two.

Fr. Vince was the main celebrant during our wedding day, with Fr. Keith co-celebrating. Fr. Randy, who was our teacher and adviser during our high school days also co-celebrated. Fr. Nioret, who was like my father ever since I was 13 years old, our rector for 7 years, also co-celebrated.

Our wedding day was like a family gathering.

It was really amazing to think about the privilege to be wedded by Fr. Vince for it was his first time to conduct a wedding ceremony.

Two very close priest friends who are like brothers and two priests who are like a father to me, wedded me and my wife. Still seems so surreal.

God made everything possible.

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The Priestly Ordination of Three of My Closest Friends and Finding Their Purpose in God
A Life of Service to God

The Priestly Ordination of Three of My Closest Friends and Finding Their Purpose in God

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