Mangaluru/Mudipu: Deacon Lawrence Cutinha ordained as a priest at the shrine of St. Joseph Vaz

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By Dr. Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle
Bellevision Media Network

Mangaluru, 07 Apr 2016: In a solemn and prayerful ceremony, Deacon Lawrence Cutinha was ordained as a priest by the Bishop of Mangaluru, Most Rev. Dr. Aloysius P. D’Souza at the renowned Shrine of St. Joseph Vaz at Mudipu on Thursday, 7 April 2016. In the 19 years old history of St. Joseph Vaz Parish Mudipu, Fr. Lawrence Cutinha has the distinction of being the first priest to be ordained from that parish.


Vicar General of Mangaluru Diocese-Rev. Msrgr. Denis Moras Prabhu, Rector of St. Joseph’s Seminary-Fr. Joseph Martis, Parish Priest of Mudipu-Fr. Benjamine Pinto, former Parish Priest- Fr. Alwyn D’Cunha and a number of other priests from Mangaluru Diocese were present for the ordination ceremony along with mother of Fr. Lawrence-Mrs. Eugine Cutinha, his brothers and sisters-in-law, sister and brother-in-law, their children, parishioners from those parishes where Fr. Lawrence had served as Regent in Naravi, Pangala, Fermai and Moodubelle where he had served as Deacon before his ordination. Besides, practically all the parishioners of Mudipu were present for the historic ordination ceremony.



Deacon Lawrence Cutinha along with his close family members, priests and Bishop of Mangaluru came in procession to the main altar of the Shrine dedicated to St. Joseph Vaz where Bishop Aloysius P. D’Souza concelebrated the ordination mass as the chief celebrant.


Prior to the homily, Deacon Lawrence stood before the Bishop as the Rector of St. Joseph’s Seminary, Mangaluru where Deacon Lawrence had undergone priestly training vouched for his ordination. Thereafter, the Bishop delivering his homily stressed upon the significance, joys and sorrows of priestly life. He explained how a person ordained a priest can serve God and  His people by prayer, sacrifices and good example. He further said that, Deacon Lawrence was chosen by God and would be anointed and will be serving His will and his people.


After the homily, the ordination ceremony commenced. The Bishop first asked few questions which were answered by  Deacon Lawrence. Thereafter, Deacon Lawrence prostrated before the main altar as the Litany of the Saints was recited Fr. Denis D’Sa, PRO of Udupi Diocese. After the end of the Litany of the Saiants, the Bishop laid his hands over the head of Deacon Lawrence and prayed for God’s grace. Similarly all the priests who were present at the altar one by one laid thier hands over the head of Deacon Lawrence.


Fr. Benjamin Pinto, Parish Priest of Mudipu helped Deacon Lawrence to wear the formal mass vestment. Deacon Lawrence then proceeded towards the altar kneeling before the Bishop who anointed his hands with holy oil.  Thereafter, the Bishop handed over the chalice to Deacon Lawrence symbolizing the power granted to him to offer mass and to concecrate the Holy Eucharist. In this way, Deacon Lawrence Cutinha became Fr. Lawrence Cutinha. The Bishop embraced Fr. Lawrence and congratulated him for being ordained a priest. This gesture was followed by other priests who were present at the altar.


Following his ordination, Fr. Lawrence Cutinha joined the Bishop in continuing the holy mass. First,  he received various gifts offered by his family members and thereafter participated in the proceedings of the holy mass along with the Bishop. At the end of the mass, following the solemn blessing from the Bishop, Fr. Lawrence also bestowed his first priestly blessing on the people gathered in the shrine.


The choir from Moodubelle trained by Fr. Clement Mascarenhas  sang hymns melodiously which enhanced the solemnity of the ordination ceremony.


Soon after the ordination ceremony, people gathered in the pandal for stage and felicitation programme. Soon after two groups of St. Francis Assisi school children presented welcome dance, dignitaries occupied their seats on the dais including Bishop Aloysius P. D’Souza who presided over the function, Fr. Lawrence Cutinha, His mother-Mrs. Eugine Cutinha, Fr. Benjamin Pinto, present Parish Priest of Mudipi, Fr. Alwyn D’Cunha, former Parish Priest of Mudipu and Fr. Clement  Mascarenhas, Parish Priest of St. Lawrence Church, Moodubelle.



The felicitation programme began with  Mrs. Shanti Cutinha, sister of Fr. Lawrence welcoming the guests. Thereafter, Fr. Lawrence and his mother who had recently completed 60 years cut two separate cakes.


Raising the toast, Fr. Alwyn D’Cunha said that Fr. Lawrence is the first priest from Mudipu to be ordained a priest. He highlighted the finer qualities of Fr. Lawrence and advised him to be an example by which other may follow his footsteps.


Following the toast,  Fr. Lawrence was felicitated by his mother, Mrs. Eugine Cutinha along with other close family members.


Fr. Clement Mascarenhas in his felicitation message said that though  Fr. Lawrence served in Moodubelle parish only for five months as a Deacon, he had endeared to all the people of  the parish and became quite popular among the youth as well as elders by his smiling face and devout disposition. He wished him well as a priest and on behalf of all the parishioners of Moodubelle offered him flower bouquet as a token of appreciation for his service to the parish. Following this, the choir from Moodubelle sang the felicitation song dedicated to Fr. Lawrence.


Fr. Benjamin Pinto speaking at this occasion said that the entire parish comprising of 210 families joined together in organizing the ordination function.


The Bishop in his presidential address thanked mother of Fr. Lawrence, Mrs. Eugine Cutinha for making all sacrifices and inspiring hers son to join the priesthood. He congratulated Fr. Lawrence by offering him jasmine flower garland.


In his long thanksgiving oration, Fr. Lawrence thanked Almighty God for the gift of priesthood. He also thanked the Bishop  for accepting him for the Diocese of Mangaluru. He thanked his mother and honoured her with shawl and flowers. Similarly he expressed gratitude to his family members and relatives and offered them flower bouquets and mementos.  In this way Fr. Lawrence read out the long list of all those who had helped him in one way or the other while he was in seminary, during his regency and deaconate. He honoured all those who were present with floral bouquets and mementos.


The entire programme was compeered by Fr. Deepak.


Fr. Louis Cutinha, Parish Priest of Naravi recited the prayer and grace before the  meal. All the participants in the ordination and felicitation function were served with meal which was prepared by the parishioners of Mudipu in a truly community spirit.



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