14 Jun 2019
Frs. Eduardo Chincha and Juan Pablo Rubio Ordained
by Fr. Mike Mendl, SDB
(Orange, N.J. – June 8) – Frs. Eduardo Chincha and Juan Pablo Rubio were ordained to the presbyterate on Saturday, June 8, at Our Lady of the Valley Church in Orange. Auxiliary Bishop Manuel A. Cruz of Newark was the ordaining prelate, and in his love for the Salesians fulfilled that office with enthusiastic joy.
The parish church was filled with over 400 people—Salesians and other members of the Salesian Family, family and friends of the ordinands, and youngsters from the Salesian works at Orange, New Rochelle, and Port Chester, where the newly ordained have served.
Fr. Chincha was influenced to enter the Salesians in 2009 by his encounters with them at Holy Rosary Parish in Port Chester, where his family were parishioners for years. (They have since moved.) He made his first profession of vows in 2011. He has been assigned to Mary Help of Christians Center in Tampa for his first priestly ministry.
Fr. Rubio and his family lived in Sturgis, Mich., where an assistant pastor was a former Salesian, Fr. Robert Flickinger, who influenced his vocational choice, as did SDB and FMA vocation directors. He entered formation in 2007 and professed vows in 2010. He has been assigned to St. John Bosco Parish in Chicago for his first priestly ministry.
Both confreres did their practical training at Salesian High School in New Rochelle from 2013 to 2015 and completed their priestly studies at Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., from 2015 to 2019.
Bp. Manny Cruz’s homily centered on the priest as a minister of divine compassion. Recalling his witness of a final profession of some Dominican nuns who were asked in the rite, “What do you want?”—the response being, “I want the mercy of God”—he stated that deep in their hearts the ordinands are asking for mercy because we’re all sinners who are seeking God’s love and mercy. He told the priests-to-be that they’d come “to this house of God knowing that he has called you by name to serve him, to respond to his mercy, to feed us with the Body and Blood of his Son, to love us as Christ loves us.”
In a prominent part of the ordination rite, the ordinands prostrate themselves while the congregation prays the Litany of the Saints. The bishop explained the prostration as a symbol of humility and complete self-emptying by which the candidates pledge to put God first in their lives. He said that by the laying on of hands God would transform their hearts forever, so that in spite of their human limitations they will have the faith and humility to invite God to send them forth to proclaim the Gospel of life and the power of Christ crucified. On the cross Christ completely surrendered himself to the Father, and that’s what the prostration means, what the people of God are praying for, for the ordinands—that they might be instruments of the divine compassion and, in this world full of doubt, be signs that God remains with us and has not left us orphans.
Bp. Cruz urged the ordinands always to go back to the Gospels whenever, like the apostles, they may be fearful; there they will touch the wounded heart of Christ and find the spiritual resources to bring to the faithful the compassionate and forgiving heart of Christ in every sacramental anointing, every confession they’ll hear. As they’ll celebrate the Eucharist, saying, “This is my Body; this is my Blood,” they’ll be reminded to conform their lives to Christ in their prayer, service, and personal relationship with him, so that others will see in them another Christ. He advised them always to visit the sick and to be available to hear confessions, for people need forgiveness.
Finally, the bishop affirmed that we’re all called to receive mercy and to embrace conversion—daily putting Christ at the center of our lives.
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