Vatican City: An Indian was among 19 deacons Pope Francis ordained on Sunday in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican.
One of the newly ordained was Fr Sony George Kappalumackal of Thamarassery diocese in Kerala. “I feel like experiencing the inexplicable mercy of God,” Fr Kappalumackal told Vatican Radio prior to the ordination.
He came to Rome five years ago to study theology at International Pontifical College Maria Mater Ecclesiae. For the ordination his parents traveled from Panthalur in the Malappuram district of Kerala.
During the ordination Mass, the Pope digressed from the standard homily for the ordination of priests to offer advice to the newly ordained.
The 78-year-old pontiff said priests should nourish God’s people with their homilies, while making sure they are not bored.
Ensure “that your homilies are not boring; that your homilies reach the heart of the people, because they come from your hearts,” he said. “What you say to them is what you have in your heart.”
The Pope said priests should ensure they always forgive rather than condemn, and described them as ‘ministers of unity in the Church.’
He also said priests should ‘never refuse Baptism to whoever asks for it.’
In his words of advice to the newly ordained priests, the Pope also said they must not offer God’s Word without giving a good example.