The Irish may not be ordaining many from their native land, but there is this notable news:
The “immense contribution” the Filipino community has made to society in Northern Ireland has been celebrated at a historic ordination.
Family and friends of Rev Manuelito Muga Milo gathered at St Peter’s Cathedral in west Belfast yesterday as he was ordained into the Diocese of Down & Connor.
He is the first non-national to be ordained into a diocese in Ireland.
Born in the Philippines, the 29-year-old came to Northern Ireland in 2007 and commenced his seminary formation at St Malachy’s in Belfast, and his philosophical studies through Queen’s University.
He then progressed on to theological studies at St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth in 2012.
Having completed an undergraduate degree in theological studies, Fr Milo engaged in ministry in Cork University Hospital before he returned to Belfast last year to take up a period of pastoral experience.
On Christmas Eve last year, Manuelito was ordained a Deacon in St Vincent de Paul’s Parish, Ligoniel.
Yesterday, his family were among those who gathered at St Peter’s. Also among those present was Bishop Antonieto Dumagan Cabajog of the diocese of Surigao in the Philippines.
Bishop Noel Treanor said it was a “day of joy and thanksgiving” as he welcomed those who travelled to St Peter’s from the Philippines, the US and around Ireland, as well as those watching online.
He told Fr Milo that from “this day forward your primary mission in life is to evoke and confirm in those in your care a sense of God and of the things of God”.
Read more. Ad multos annos!
Photo: Cliff Donaldson/The Irish News