The altar of Epiphany Cathedral in Venice is full of priests concelebrating the Ordination to the Priesthood of Father Carlos Encinas on Oct. 5 in Venice. (PHOTO by BOB REDDY)

Priest joins Presbyterate of Diocese

Venice  |  The presbyterate of the Diocese of Venice in Florida grew by one with the Ordination to the Priesthood of Father Carlos Encinas.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane presided over the ordination of Father Encinas in a rite that was filled with long tradition and witnessed by hundreds Oct. 5 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice. 

Bishop Dewane told Father Encinas that through ordination, he becomes forever “United to the Sacrifice of Christ.” That unity is also with the Bishop and the Universal Church led by Pope Francis. 

“You are called to be that Church as you go out and strive to minister to the people of God,” Bishop Dewane continued. “Be the example of the Good Shepherd and go out and find the lost sheep who have strayed by being the Light of Christ to others who might be in darkness.”

Father Encinas, 40, was born in Corrientes, Argentina, and said he was overjoyed by his ordination and felt blessed to have his parents and family present from Argentina, for this important moment in his life. “I feel all of the angels in heaven are with me right now.”

To start the Rite of Ordination, Diocese of Venice Vocations Director Father Shawn Roser called the transitional deacon forward as he presented himself for ordination to the Bishop. Bishop Dewane, on behalf of the entire Church, accepted him and called him to ordination as a Priest by saying: “Relying on the help of the Lord God and Our Savior Jesus Christ, we choose Carlos Encinas, our brother, for the Order of the Priesthood.

During the Rite of Ordination, the ordinand knelt before Bishop Dewane to express his desire and willingness to be ordained as a Priest and to fulfill the responsibilities that come with ordination, which included a promise of respect and obedience to the Bishop and his successors. He then lay prostrate before the altar for the Litany of Supplication/Litany of Saints. 

After this solemn act of prayer, the Sacrament of Ordination was conferred when he again knelt before Bishop Dewane, whom in silent prayer, imposed his hands on the head the ordinand. Each priest then came forward to lay their hands upon the head of Father Encinas. This was followed by Bishop Dewane, with his hands outstretched, praying the Prayer of Ordination.

Father Encinas was then vested in stole and chasuble by Father Gerard Critch, Pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Naples where the priest had recently served as a transitional deacon. His hands were than anointed with the Sacred Chrism by the Bishop, the sign of the special anointing of the Holy Spirit who will make their ministry fruitful. 

Next, Bishop Dewane presented Father Encinas with the chalice and paten which all priests are called to present to God in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The Rite of Ordination is concluded with the Bishop giving a fraternal kiss of peace to the newly ordained priest, welcoming him into the Diocesan Presbyterate or priesthood. Bishop Dewane introduced Father Encinas to all those present to enthusiastic applause, before all priests came forward to offer the sign of peace.

Father Encinas recently graduated from St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach. He left medical school to enter the seminary in New York before becoming a seminarian for the Diocese of Venice. As a seminarian, he had several pastoral assignments throughout the region, including: St. Peter the Apostle Parish, Naples; St. Andrew Parish, Cape Coral; St. Joseph Parish, Bradenton; and Our Lady of Grace, Avon Park. His first Mass as a priest was at St. John the Evangelist Parish, then in Spanish at St. Peter the Apostle Parish.

In addition to families and friends from Argentina, there were faithful from across the Diocese, many from the parishes where he previously had served. Included among those were also representatives of the Knights and Dames of the Order of Malta, and the Knights and Dames of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, as well as Diocesan seminarians who served during the Mass. Father Encinas was also pleased that a number of priests and fellow graduates from St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, many of whom were ordained earlier in the year, were able to attend.

The Ordination was followed by a reception in the Cathedral Parish Hall where newly ordained Father Encinas was available to greet the public and impart his priestly blessing on them.