New transitional deacon for KL Archdiocese

Seminarian Gnana Selvam Berentis, from the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur, was ordained a transitional deacon on June 5.

Jun 17, 2023

Archbishop Julian Leow lays his hands on Deacon Gnana Selvam.

By Julie Lim

Seminarian Gnana Selvam Berentis, from the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur, was ordained a transitional deacon on June 5. Deacon Selva has been serving at the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist (CSJE) since June 2022, after completing his studies at St Peter’s College Major Seminary in Kuching. The theme he selected for his diaconate ordination was Here I am (Isaiah 6:8).

The Mass was held at Convent Bukit Nanas 2 chapel, as CSJE is temporarily closed for repairs.

Archbishop Julian Leow presided over the Mass with Vicars General, Msgr Stanislaus Soosaimariam and Msgr Patrick Boudville, Fr Edwin Peter, Fr James Gabriel and CSJE parish priest, Fr Gerard Theraviam, concelebrating. In attendance were 400 guests comprising clergy, representatives from religious orders, seminarians, friends, parishioners, and family members. The Mass was also live streamed on YouTube.

In his homily, Archbishop Julian said that everyone is in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness. “What is important is that we recognise our weaknesses, we turn to the Lord for strength, and we depend on Jesus Christ completely for inspiration.”

The prelate reminded that every baptised person has been chosen to be a disciple of Christ. “Each one of us must listen and respond accordingly to the state of life we have been called to,” he said.

After the final blessing, Deacon Selva took the opportunity to share his vocation story. He did not grow up in a staunch Catholic family, and was away from God for 15 years where he focused on his studies, career, fame, fortune and worldly relationships. Even though he accomplished all he set out to do, there was still a longing within for something more.

The turning point came when Deacon Selva lost his savings in an online investment scam. That incident was a wake-up call that the endless quest for worldly pursuits will never be quenched. He needed to find the key to everlasting peace and joy. An encounter with a corporate figure who spent hours focusing on driving new business streams but yet was passionate about spreading the Word of God was another eye opener. Deacon Selva started attending Mass again, and pursuing God through prayer. It was during that time that he felt a desire to think about the priesthood.

In his thanksgiving note, Deacon Selva expressed gratitude to Archbishop Julian, the clergy of the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur and Fr Gerard.

He acknowledged his retreat master, Fr Christopher Soosaipillai, as well as the former and present vocation directors, Fr Augustine Lee and Fr Vincent Thomas.

A special mention was given to the seminary formators, fellow seminarians, religious brothers and sisters, the community of CSJE, the social communications team of the Archdiocese, his family members and the community from Bestari Jaya who were participating from the parish community hall.

Deacon Selva will continue to serve at CSJE until his priestly ordination.

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