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Rev. Andrew De Silva (right, ’03) with Joseph W. Cardinal Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark and his fellow new priests at their May 25 ordination Rev. Andrew De Silva (right, ’03) with Joseph W. Cardinal Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark and his fellow new priests at their May 25 ordination.

 

On Saturday, May 25, His Eminence Joseph W. Cardinal Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark (New Jersey), conferred Holy Orders upon Rev. Andrew J. De Silva (’03), making him Thomas Aquinas College’s 73rd alumnus priest.

“You will participate in Christ’s ministry. You will share with all humanity the Word of God you have already received with joy,” Cardinal Tobin told Fr. De Silva and his five fellow ordinandi at Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. “In memory of the Lord’s death and Resurrection, carry Christ’s death with you and walk with Him in newness of life.” (See the Ordination Mass in the video player at the bottom of this post.)

Fr. De Silva is the son of Dr. Norman P. De Silva (’75), a member of the College’s first graduating class who went on to become a tutor before passing away in 1985.In addition to serving as a priest for the Archdiocese of Newark, Fr. De Silva is a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves Chaplain Corps.

In a recent article for Catholic Digest, published on the eve of his ordination, Fr. De Silva wrote about his experience as a manager for a large-scale wine retailer helped him to discern his vocation. Specifically a customer’s question about wines prompted him to reflect upon what it means for something (or someone) to be good:

I began thinking of the many times in my life I chose to pursue what I thought was good for me but in reality was simply pleasurable. I thought of the many times I had chosen the apparent good, forsaking the sometimes arduous task of determining what was truly good for me or others. …

Then I thought about God. No one knows the invisible background behind me or my choices better than the One Who created each one of us for no other reason than that we be truly happy. Before I was born, God knew me (see Jeremiah 1:5); God knew the entire story of my life and was constantly inviting me to live a good life — but never forcing me. …

[T]hat encounter, where for an instant I caught a little glimpse of what God must live so often with each one of us, remains a pivotal moment on my path toward joyfully serving the Church as one of her priests.

Fr. De Silva will return to California this weekend to offer a Mass of Thanksgiving at his home parish, St. Thomas Aquinas in Ojai, at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.