From left: Eduardo de Oliviera Paixão, Renan Roberto Costa, Mauricio Gilo Sanjines Calatayud, João Gilberto Veras Ferreira.

‘A treasure beyond imagining’: Archdiocese welcomes four new priests at Toronto ordinations

By 
  • May 16, 2019

“We are called beyond ourselves to the glory of God,” Cardinal Thomas Collins told a packed St. Michael’s Cathedral as he ordained four men to the priesthood on May 11.

Fr. Renan Roberto Costa, Fr. Eduardo de Oliveira Paixao, Fr. Mauricio Gilo Sanjines Calatayud and Fr. Joao Gilberto Veras Ferreira are all South American products of the Neocatechumenal Way, a 55-year-old Catholic lay movement that began in Spain. 

The three Brazilians and one Peruvian came to Toronto to study for the priesthood at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and serve in the Archdiocese of Toronto.

In his homily at the Toronto diocesan ordinations, Collins called the priesthood “a treasure beyond imagining.”

The cardinal’s homily was based on the four new priests’ own selection of readings for the Mass of Ordination, beginning with 2 Corinthians 4 — “We have this treasure in clay jars…”

“In this celebration of ordination, we will stress the treasure and the clay,” Collins said.

The essential link between the priesthood and the Eucharist makes every ordination an occasion of joy for the entire Catholic community, Collins said.

Meanwhile, just blocks away the Jesuits of Canada simultaneously ordained two new priests and five deacons at St. Paul’s Basilica.

Fr. Adam Hincks and Fr. Ted Penton are the first priests ordained in the newly reunited Province of Canada, which includes the previously separate provinces of French and English Canada. Hincks is an astrophysicist who specializes in physical cosmology. Penton holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and heads up the Office of Justice and Ecology at the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States based in Washington, D.C.

Simultaneous with Hincks and Penton’s ordination to the priesthood, five men studying at Regis College, Toronto’s Jesuit pontifical faculty of theology, were ordained to the transitional diaconate. The five new deacons are from five different Jesuit provinces spread around the world — Deacon Greg Celio from the U.S. West province, Deacon Augustus Ekka from Nepal, Deacon Kevin Hughes from Maryland, Deacon Julio Miguel Minsal-Ruiz from Antilles, and Deacon Manu Mathew Piravomkunnel from Nepal.

Ottawa’s Jesuit Archbishop Terrence Prendergast presided at the Jesuit ordinations.

Eduardo de Oliviera Paixão

AGE: 29

BIRTHPLACE: Sao Paulo, Brazil

BIO: As early as eight years old, he would tell the local pastor that he, too, would be a priest one day. The death of his father in 1998 left a huge hole and made him question God’s presence in his life. In 2004 he joined the Neocatechumenal Way in his local parish, rediscovering the love of God in his life. 

After graduating high school in 2006, he did missionary work in the Amazon. He entered the Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary in 2012. 

Renan Roberto Costa

AGE: 31

BIRTHPLACE: Sao Paulo, Brazil

BIO: One of two siblings raised in the small town of Pitangueiras, he graduated from school in Human Resources. He wound up working for a bank in Brazil before entering the seminary. It was a calling he first felt when he was 16. In 2010 he was sent to Italy on retreat and found himself selected to go to Toronto’s Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary. He did missionary work in Winnipeg before returning to Toronto and St. Augustine’s Seminary. 

Mauricio Gilo Sanjines Calatayud

AGE: 36

BIRTHPLACE: La Paz, Bolivia

BIO: Second oldest of seven siblings, he says his parents did not accept his vocation at the beginning, but have since come to embrace it. The first time he felt a call to the priesthood was at World Youth Day in Paris in 1997.  He left his studies in university to do missionary work in Bolivia before entering the seminary. After attending a Neocatechumenal Way retreat in Italy, he was sent to Canada to study at Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary.

João Gilberto Veras Ferreira

AGE: 34

BIRTHPLACE: Brasilia, Brazil

BIO: Growing up in Brazil with two sisters, soccer was his passion and it led him to playing semi-professional for four years. His vocation story took a turn in his late teens, when he joined the Neocatechumenal Way community at his parish, impressed by their witness of faith. In 2009 he entered the Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary of Brasilia. 

Two years later, he transferred to the Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary in Toronto.

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