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Congratulations, Msgr Christian! Forty-five years a priest

On behalf of the parishioners of St Benedict’s RC, La Romaine and Holy Innocents, Picton, we extend warmest congratulations to Msgr Christian Pereira on his 45th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood (June 27, 1976–June 27, 2021).

This is the most significant and meaningful milestone in the life of this well-loved diocesan priest and former Vicar General of the Archdiocese. It is fitting on such an auspicious occasion to acknowledge the various persons who have contributed to his formation to arrive at this special moment: his parents, siblings, relatives, friends, the late Archbishop Anthony Pantin, the diocesan fraternity of priests and the many parish communities in which he so selflessly served, and which have been the nurturing ground for humility, service, patience, love, and compassion.

“People must think of us as Christ’s servants, stewards entrusted with the mysteries of God. What is expected of stewards is that each one of you should be found worthy of his trust” (1 Cor 4:1–2). This epitomises the life of Christian Dominic Pereira—one of sacrifice and service because it is the life of Christ. Wherever there is sacrifice, love abounds even more. Msgr Christian cares for people. He is the shepherd of the flock entrusted to him, just as Christ is the Shepherd of the entire human family.

Monsignor is the person who mediates between God and humanity, sanctifying the people and bringing them closer to God.

Msgr Christian has had his own unique challenges and rewards which is truly the life of the gospel—servant, man of prayer, preacher of the Word, man of the people. He is compassionate, approachable, friendly, understanding and is looked up to and respected as a good role model especially by the young people. Parish life is challenging and demanding, especially when parishioners face difficult or trying times and when they are at their most vulnerable, but for our beloved Msgr Christian, one of the great joys of life as a diocesan priest is that no two days are the same.

His day is centred on prayer and the Holy Mass, but otherwise it is filled with whatever ministries and events happen to be going on.

We live in a time now when the Church is challenged and for our parishioners 1 Cor 4:2 is relevant.

Msgr Christian, gifted and imbued with the Spirit of God, has earned the respect and trust of his flock. In this voyage of the pandemic, our Church is like a great ship, pounded by the waves of Covid-19 and life’s different stresses.

Monsignor kept us all on course. He faces many adversities in life now, but he trusts in the Lord with all his heart, and he certainly does not rely on his own prudence.

Msgr Christian, we love you. You are a strong leader able and ready to respond to our pastoral needs. You have shown love and kindness to us all, especially the less fortunate, our poor and underprivileged, our migrants and refugees. “The name of the Lord is an impregnable tower. The just man seeks refuge in it and he will be saved” (Prov 18:10).

You are a man for all seasons: an extraordinary man who does awesome extraordinary things in speedy ways, a man with an organised mind. We appreciate and admire the joy with which you carry out your priestly vocation.

Dear Msgr, we assure you of our continued cooperation, support and full participation in enriching and enhancing our parish family life, seeking to serve the one Triune God.

We always note your emphasis on inclusion and interconnectedness. We find in you a happy priest in the Lord. Joy is contagious, we are all motivated by you even in the midst of your health challenges to exude the joy of the Lord.

May God who called you into His wonderful light, pour out in kindness His blessing upon you, as you make our hearts firm in faith, hope and love.

We bless you, Msgr Christian. May your life be blessed with happiness and peace of mind. May you be free of all burdens and know that you are completely loved and cared for. Let angels light your way with grace and your path with every success.

Msgr Christian Dominic Pereira “you are a priest forever, of the order of Melchizedek” (Heb 5).

Archbishop Pantin at the Ordination of Msgr Christian Pereira

We continue to intensify our prayers for an increase in vocation to the priesthood, following in your good and holy footsteps. —Theresa McLean, parishioner.