Ordination to Priesthood of Larry Tolentino
By Virginia Knight
Rev Arnulfo Abelardo ‘Larry’ Tolentino was ordained in a Mass of Solemnity in St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta on Friday 29 June.
The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, presided at the Mass, which was concelebrated by Toowoomba Bishop-elect Most Rev Robert McGuckin and the clergy of the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta.
Fr Larry said he felt both humbled and challenged during the ceremony; respectful of the privilege of his ordination to the priesthood and looking forward in a positive way to all that his ministry will bring.
“I have never been as happy as I am now,” Fr Larry said. “When I became a priest and even before as a deacon performing ministry I realised how privileged I am to be able to celebrate the sacraments. It is just awesome to be able to celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist.
“Celebrating my first Mass of Thanksgiving at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish at Greystanes, I was deeply moved by the presence of the faithful, people from different parishes I worked with during my formation days.
“In my thanksgiving speech, I was unable to control my emotions, shedding tears of happiness. I hope and pray that God will allow me to see Him more and continue to feel His presence in every sacrament I come to celebrate.”
Fr Larry thanked all those who had prayed for him and supported him in his journey to priesthood, moved by the smiles on the faces of those in the congregation and their very positive response.
He said he was aware of the huge responsibility that God had entrusted him with and asked parishioners to continue to pray for him, that he will always remain strong in his commitment to his vocation.
And having attended World Youth Day in Madrid last year, he is looking forward to WYD Rio in 2013, this time accompanying the pilgrims as a chaplain at the invitation of Bishop Anthony.
“Last year I experienced the faith of people from so many different cultures. I look forward to being a part of keeping this faith alive in the hearts of the young people.”
Fired with the spirit of emulation
On Monday 9 July, Fr Larry left for a four-week holiday to the Philippines returning to visit the area in which he grew up.
While there he planned to catch up with his extended family and friends and said he was looking forward to celebrating Mass in the parish where as a young child he was first fired with the spirit of emulation and considered life as a priest.
“I will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving for the gift of my priesthood amongst the people. But this time, I will really understand all that it means to be a priest.”
Fr Larry will return to his first priestly appointment as assistant priest at Greystanes Parish. He said he was ready to go wherever God called him to serve, and wherever Bishop Anthony sent him.
“I am not ordained to a specific parish or for specific people, but as a priest for everyone.”
Download an audio file of Bishop Anthony’s Homily – Mass of Ordination to the Priesthood of Arnulfo (Larry) Tolentino
Listen to this Homily at Bishop Anthony's iTunes Podcasts
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