ORLANDO | Prepared to celebrate the installation of Father John Britto of Holy Cross, parishioners, clergy and friends packed the parish of Saint John the Evangelist on September 26. Various choirs gathered for the occasion, making “a joyous noise to the Lord” to celebrate their beloved priest. Bishop John Noonan shared words of gratitude as he presented the new pastor with the keys to the kingdom.
Nine years after his arrival at Saint John the Evangelist, Father Britto could hardly contain his joy.
“I truly believe that the hand of God has been and continues to guide me throughout my life,” he said. “I have experienced the joy of being led by God, for ‘God does not ration his gift of the Spirit’ (John 3:34). How else would you explain a Tamil boy (India) who only passed grade 10 and went on to earn three masters in English, education and theology, now serving God’s wonderful people in the United States of America? America? ”He said.“ God continues to enjoy doing us good and invites us to be faithful to him, to experience his infinite grace. ”
Born December 15, 1963 in Agraharam, a village in Tamil Nadu in southern India, Father Britto is the youngest of four siblings, having lost a younger sister. Born of “deeply religious” parents, her other sister became a nun in the Congregation of the Franciscan Servants of Mary.
He joined the Brothers of Holy Cross at the end of the eighth year, professing his perpetual vows as a Brother of Holy Cross in 1990. His vocation led him to serve as a promoter, formator and administrator of vocations, in being the principal of 4,000 young men in a flagship school in India, and being ordained a priest in 2011. “(My) call in a call… was more to surrender to God and let go,” he said. “As someone once said, ‘The way of the Spirit and the way of the Lord are filled with 10,000 surrenders and 5,000 surrenders.’”
First assigned to a parish in Vermont, he transferred to St. John the Evangelist in 2012. Earlier this year, Father Britto became a US citizen.
“I have come to realize the inexhaustible resources that God provides when we remain in his love and serve as a channel of that love for others,” he said. “When we truly believe that the Lord is everything to us, we can serve him with unspeakable joy. So, with the psalmist, we can legitimately say: “God has put in my mouth a new song, a song of praise” (Ps 40: 4), and “I have not hidden your mercy and your faithfulness to the great congregation ‘”(cf. Ps 40:10).
Father Britto said, the closer he comes to God, the more he realizes his unworthiness, as Saint Augustine’s words remind us: “In my deepest wound, I saw your glory and dazzled. This recognition helps him try to “become a reservoir of his grace”.