As he participated in his ordination ceremony at St Finbar’s Church in Diego Martin on Saturday August 17, Fr Jesse Maingot was possibly reflecting on his long journey to establishing his relationship with God and his Church. The 33 year old went through much soul searching before he finally found his true calling.
During his homily, Archbishop Jason Gordon observed, “You have been called Jesse to this moment”, but his words emphasised that the end of this phase of Fr Maingot’s journey is the beginning of a next challenging and important one. Describing the leap to priesthood as crossing a “chasm”, the Archbishop noted that Fr Maingot’s calling chose him instead of the other way around.
He explained, “You will live your priesthood as an answer to the call that God has given to you way back then, when you were a child, when you were baptised, when you received holy chrism for the first time, when that water of salvation washed you clean, when God put his seal upon you and called you to be a holy man.” He proclaimed, “You would hear that call through everything in your being.”
Drawing on the words of Luke in the Mass’s gospel reading (Lk 9:1–6), the Archbishop noted that long ago, Fr Maingot’s Dominican order evolved as part of a “reform from the opulence of the Church”. He reminded those present, “The gospel understands that Jesus understands that he calls His people to go out and be vulnerable, to go out and depend upon the people that they are serving even for their livelihood, even for their upkeep to go out and trust in the providence of God.”
He stressed the importance of taking the Word of God to the people commenting, “We again have become stuck in our churches, stuck in believing that people need to come to us.” He added, “You had as a command from Christ himself to you to go out where people are, to bring the good news, to do so in a spirit of poverty, to do so trusting in God’s divine providence, to do so by allowing God to provide for you everything that you need. That my Brother, I’m dying to see.”
By embracing this “radical life”, His Grace explained that Fr Maingot would live in “spectacular holiness”. He assured him that by defending the poor and by guarding the truth “in that vocation you will find light and joy”.
Newly ordained and surrounded by happy family and friends after the Mass, Fr Maingot’s comments mirrored His Grace’s words. He too believes that he was destined for this vocation.
“Today has been just overwhelming to experience the love of God in a whole new way,” he affirmed, “and to understand that what He’s doing in my life is beyond understanding because I guess this is God’s choice. It’s not my doing, but I suppose God chooses us even with our weaknesses so that He could show His grace.”
Even as Fr Maingot posed for pictures and received congratulations, he took time at the stroke of twelve to pray. He bestowed individual blessings on those who spoke to him, wasting no time in taking up his duties. “For me the biggest thing about today is that I’ll be able to be an instrument for God’s salvation, His love, His mercy for His people and that for me is a great joy,” he mused. He declared, “There’s no greater joy in my life than to be a priest, and so I’m grateful to God for calling me to that vocation.”