Vox Parva: The torch relay continues with a prayer


Benedict Keith Ip

After one year of deaconship, on 3:30pm of July 12, 2014, Deacon Cyril Jerome Law, Junior. is ordained to be a priest, presided by Bishop of Macau Jose Lai, and concelebrated with around 40 priests, including Cardinal Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong Joseph Zen. The cathedral is full house with more than 600 participants celebrating this new page of Catholic history in Macau. It is far more significant because, as Fr. Domingos Un Wai Meng said after Fr. Cyril’s first mass in St. Lawrence church, he is the first Chinese priest who continues the diocese’s vocation “torch” after Fr. Domingos Un was ordained 22 years ago. He felt “relieved” and envisioned the promising future of vocation during his speech.
Fr. Cyril was born and raised in Hong Kong. He joined the Salesian Aspirantate in 1997 and later completed postgraduate studies in philosophy in the United States. From 2005 he spent 4 years engaging in educational and pastoral activities both in Hong Kong and Macau. After working in IIUM (which is now University of Saint Joseph) for 2 years, in 2009, he joined the Diocesan Saint Joseph Seminary of Macau and was later sent to Rome to complete theological and priestly training. He was ordained a deacon by Bishop Jose Lai in July 2013, and spent the last year in the United Kingdom for his doctoral studies in theology.
At the end of the Mass, the newly-ordained priest, speaking in Cantonese, English, Portuguese, and Mandarin, thanked all those who had helped him in his path to the priesthood. He restated a phrase 3 times – Ut Unum Sint – meaning “That they may all be one”. He asked for forgiveness, as well as to invite everybody, including religious and all the lay people, to keep praying for the unity and the vocation of the church.
And in fact, “Ut Unum Sint” has a very profound message that deserves a footnote here to explain. This phrase can go back to the long chapter in the Gospel of John (John 17:1-26) when Jesus intercedes his very last prayer before he was caught to be crucified. People usually know the event when Jesus taught to his apostles the universal prayer “Pater Noster”. However, this chapter is actually Jesus’ personal version of Pater Noster. In this final prayer, he even expressed his own affection to the Father by realizing that he is going to complete the will of his Father.
First, as a human, he prays for himself to overcome the darkness and in order to receive the eternal glory. Second, he prays for his apostles, which is a bit longer because he knows he will not be with them in future. He wishes that “they may all be one”, and Jesus himself will consecrate himself in order to bless and embody the apostles with truth. Lastly, he prays for all the faithful that “they may all be one”. This time he prayed for this intention for 4 times, which would seem so sincere and important. This is what Jesus told us: to unite into the same faith and truth as far as possible.

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