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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Friday

UPDATED w/PHOTOS: Second Redemptorist student to be ordained a deacon Oct. 24 in Trinidad

Elton Letang, C.Ss.R., 37, will be ordained a deacon on October 24 in Trinidad. Originally from the Caribbean nation of Dominica, Elton completed his theology studies last spring at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry, and began his pastoral assignment this fall at St. Theresa’s in Barataria, Trinidad & Tobago. He professed his final vows with the Redemptorists in August.

Click to view photos from the ordination.
 
One of 10 children, Elton was born in the Giraudel area of Dominica outside of the capital of Roseau. His home was a short walk from the Redemptorists’ Holy Redeemer Retreat House in Eggleston.
 
“I was born into a Redemptorist parish, so I have known them practically as long as I’ve known myself,” Elton said. His vocation grew as teachers, friends, and even the students he taught over the course of 12 years, encouraged him to consider the choice for the priesthood and religious life.
 
“My high school was run by the Christian Brothers, and I was invited to vocations weekend and attended a few. A major traffic accident I had in the summer 2002 was the turning point in my life. That, and a retreat for single young adult Catholics, helped me decide to “try out” the religious life,” Elton said.
 
He also credits the example of his pastor, the late Redemptorist Fr. Vanmoerkerke, who “was a person with a big and warm heart who went out of his way to help someone in need.”
 
“I think one of the things I like most about the Redemptorists is that there are a lot of different things one can do,” Elton said. “You’re not necessarily limited to a parish, but you could be a retreat director, a full-time missionary, a teacher, or being doing some sort of outreach or social justice ministry. Being a versatile and adventurous person, the Redemptorists were the perfect community for me.”
 
To those discerning a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, Elton said, “Don’t let someone else make the decision for you! Let it be unique, truthful and pure. It might come at age 19 or 23 or 29 or even 52. But the key is that it must come from within, not from outside. It’s a great way of living and serving the people of God.”
 
Elton joins another Redemptorist from the Caribbean, Alistair Elias, who was ordained to the diaconate on October 6 in Boston. Both men anticipate ordination to the priesthood in 2013.