March 26, 2017, was a day of great joy in the Brazil – Recife Province (BRE). Our confrere Carlos Eduardo de Oliveira Pereira, who began his studies with the congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 2003, received from the hands of Bishop Fernando Saburido, OSB, archbishop of Olinda-Recife, the first of the Sacrament of Orders. The deacon chose as his motto, “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will” (Is 6,8; Lk 1, 38b) in communion with Dehonian spiritualty.
The ceremony took place at the parish of Santa Clara in Paulista (Pernambuco) which is ministered to by the Dehonians; it is also the location of the new deacon’s ministry. Concelebrating the ordination Mass was the provincial superior Fr. Carlos Alberto, Fr. Francisco Belarmino (parish priest) and other Dehonian and diocesan priests. Many people from a variety of places were present at the ceremony as a token of appreciation for the testimony of the new deacon and for the work of the Dehonians in northeast Brazil. Significant too was the presence of the seminarians from the two formation houses of the BRE Province who helped to prepare and organize the liturgy. In addition, it was also an opportunity to have the first major vocation meeting in the province; this allowed the young candidates to attend the ordination.
At the end of the ceremony the provincial superior, Fr. Carlos Alberto, gave thanks to the archbishop and recalled the presence of the Dehonians in the Archdiocese of Olinda-Recife for more than 120 years, that is, since our founder, Fr. Leo John Dehon, sent the first Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to Brazil. He recognized the historical importance of the Dehonian presence for the evangelization of Christian people in northeast Brazil. Gratitude was also given for Dn. Carlos Eduardo who made himself available to take on his diaconal ministry in the Church and the SCJ congregation.