“Do not be afraid to say ‘yes’ to Christ,” says newly ordained Jesuit

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Newly ordained Fr Nico Lariosa, left, and Fr Alan Wong. PHOTO: Michael McVeigh

“Do not be afraid to say ‘yes’ to Christ’s invitation,” newly ordained Jesuit priest, Fr Nico Lariosa SJ, told young people following his recent ordination.

“Religious life is a wonderful life if you’re being called to it,” he continued. “You don’t need to wait until you are perfect, or until you’re 100 percent sure, because you will never get there. Just make the commitment.”

Fr Lariosa was ordained to the priesthood along with Fr Alan Wong SJ on 16 June at St Mary’s church in North Sydney.

The two young men entered the Jesuits together on exactly the same day eleven years ago.

Nico Lariosa and Alan Wong prostrate themselves during their ordination ceremony at St Mary’s church in North Sydney. PHOTO: Michael McVeigh

Bishop Gregory O’Kelly SJ of Port Pirie, and Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Adelaide, presided over the ordinations.

The two candidates for the priesthood were presented by the Australian Provincial of the Society of Jesus, Fr Brian McCoy SJ, and Rector of the Faber Jesuit Community in Boston, Fr James Garland SJ.

“We all are here this morning, because we love Nico and Alan. We are here because we wholeheartedly, and enthusiastically, ask the Church to ordain these outstanding Jesuits to the priesthood,” Fr Gartland said.

In his homily, Bishop O’Kelly referred to the three questions that Jesuit founder St Ignatius of Loyola had posed: “What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What ought I do for Christ?”

Bishop O’Kelly ordains Alan Wong to the priesthood. PHOTO: Michael McVeigh

“You two are making your own answer today, very profoundly, in the presence of the Church,” the Bishop said to Frs Lariosa and Wong. “May there be other young men here today called as you are, by the Shepherd, to care for Christ’s people.”

At the conclusion of the Mass Fr Lariosa thanked all those who had accompanied Fr Wong and himself on their journey towards priesthood.

“I am here today because of the people who accompanied me with their prayers, who encouraged me when I was down, and who challenged me courageously when I was blinded by my own illusions”, he said.

Fr Nico Lariosa is congratulated by his mother. PHOTO: Michael McVeigh

He asked for prayers that he and Fr Wong “may serve courageously, faithfully, and with integrity, so that we can be true witnesses of God’s mercy.”

Fr Wong said the ordination had been a “grace-filled ceremony.”

“The litany of the saints was the most moving, as we prayed with everyone in the church and all the saints in heaven,” Fr Wong said.

“Our Jesuit province is blessed to have had two separate ordinations this year, one at Christchurch and the other at Sydney.”