Society Matters | Volume 31 No. 1 | Autumn 2021

3 Volume 31 No. 1 | Autumn 2021 Ordained to carry the Good News to the world It was a joyful occasion for the Divine Word Missionaries last November when three young men were ordained to the priesthood. Adrianus Yohanes (John) Mai SVD, Clement Baffoe SVD, and Yosef Meda SVD were ordained in Melbourne by Auxiliary Bishop Terence Curtin in front of a small congregation, thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, but an international audience, thanks to the event being live- streamed back home to their families. John comes from Flores, Indonesia, Clement comes from Ghana, and Yosef comes from Mangulewa, Flores and they have completed their formation in the AUS Province at Dorish Maru College in Melbourne. In his homily, Bishop Curtin referred to the readings chosen by the three young men, saying the Gospel reading of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet gave them the example to follow in their priestly life. “John, Clement and Yosef, we are gathered here to celebrate your ordination to the priesthood for missionary service to the Church in the Society of the Divine Word,” he said. “It brings us great joy.” Bishop Curtin said the young missionaries were, in their ordination, giving their life to something bigger than themselves. “You are now to be ordained for priestly ministry to the Church as Missionaries of the Society of the Divine Word, to carry the Good News of Christ our Saviour to a waiting world,” he said. “Here is your life’s purpose. “Always keep in mind the example of Christ the Good Shepherd who washed his disciples’ feet. He came not to be served, but to serve and to give himself as a ransom for many.” Speaking just before his ordination, Clement said he felt “full of joy” but at the same time, a bit nervous. “My insignificance causes this nervousness. Nevertheless it is positive since it is a reminder for me to depend on God,” he said. “For me, being a Divine Word Missionary priest is a call to participate in the mission of God. This call will enable me to journey with fellow pilgrims and at the same time share the love of God with all those I minister to. “I hope that God who has journeyed with me in the past nine-and-a-half years will remain with me in the rest of my future ministries.” Yosef said he thanked God for the gift of priesthood that he has received. “God calls me to stay with him and to be his servant,” he said. “As I knelt down before the Lord, prayed and promised to live my life in God’s guidance, I realise that this gift of priesthood is not only for me, not only for all of us, the Divine Word Missionaries, but rather for the whole Church, the whole people of God,” he said. “Today is a new start for me. As the two disciples on their way to Emmaus invited Jesus to stay with them, me too, I want to open my heart for Jesus to remain forever. In a special way I want to learn from them to be a good host for others, to whom I know and also the strangers . “Stay with us this is nearly evening, the day is almost over,” (Luke 24:29). John said that being ordained in 2020, during a global pandemic was a memorable experience. “I personally reflect that God’s infinite love can be experienced at any time even in difficult situation like COVID-19,” he said. “Ordination for me is a moment of love. God’s love is showed not merely to me as sinful person and unworthy but also others. John said he chose his priestly motto: ‘The Lord is with you’ (Luke 1:28b), because he strongly believes that God will be with him forever even in his difficult and challenging times. “I am so happy to reach this stage by being ordained. However, I am also nervous as ordination is the beginning of a journey without end. This endless journey is not my journey but it God’s journey. God is always with me for ever.” The three new priests will now take up their first assignments (as international border restrictions allow). John has been assigned to Ende Province in Indonesia, Clement to the Australia Province and Yosef to Ghana-Liberia Province.