On Saturday, September 16, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Rēzekne, Deacon Romāns Vaikulis MIC received the sacrament of ordination from the hands of Bishop Jānis Bulis of the Diocese of Rezekne-Aglon.
The solemn liturgy was attended by Latvian Marians, seminarians of the Riga Major Seminary and seminarians of the Major Seminary of the Marian Fathers from Lublin, Poland with the Rector, Fr. Dr. Jacek Rygielski, MIC, as well as Fr. Romāns’ family, friends, members of his home parish and faithful from other localities.
In his homily, the bishop stressed that a vocation is a gift from God, to which we can answer “yes” or “no.” Commenting on the Gospel passage about Jesus’ call to prayer, since “the harvest is great, but the laborers are few,” the bishop encouraged the entire congregation, to pray that Latvia will not lack good priests. He also reminded priests that they are called to bear witness to Christ’s love in the world through their lives, preaching the Word of God, and sacramental ministry, especially through the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Sacrament of Penance.
Later in the liturgy, the candidate for priesthood took solemn vows to fulfill his priestly duties with dignity, and all the faithful united in prayer, singing the Litany of All Saints, during which the candidate for ordination lies on the floor, showing humility before God.
After putting on hands and the prayer of blessing, the new priest was dressed in the appropriate liturgical vestments – donning a stole and chasuble. The bishop then anointed the hands of the new priest with holy oil as a sign that his hands were henceforth dedicated to God’s work, and presented him with a chalice with wine and a paten with the host as gifts from God’s people, which he would henceforth offer on the altar throughout his life as a priest. Fr. Romans then took part in Mass as a presbyter, concelebrating with the bishop and other priests.
After the liturgy, there was also time for thanksgiving, best wishes and a festive dinner.
Father Romāns Vaikulis MIC was born in Daugavpils. After graduating from a technical school in Daugavpils, he entered the Congregation of Marian Fathers. He took his first vows on September 8, 2017, and began his theological studies at the Major Seminary of the Marian Fathers in Lublin. This year he earned a master’s degree in theology and thus completed his formation at the seminary.
Father Romāns’ first place of ministry will be the parishes in Viļāni, Rikava, Nagļi and Ostrone, served by the Marianists; in addition, Fr. Romans has been appointed promoter of new vocations to the Latvian Vicariate. May God bless him in his ministry!