Jessie, Jestonie, and Jerson Avenido were ordained on the same day and in the same religious congregation.

This is an unprecedented event for the Church in the Philippines: Three brothers were ordained priests on the same day and in the same religious congregation.

Jessie, Jestonie and Jerson Avenido were ordained on Wednesday, September 8, the day of the Nativity of the Virgin, for the Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata (known as Stigmatines), an Italian order. The celebration, presided over by Bishop José Cabantan, took place in the Cathedral of Cagayán de Oro, Philippines, and was reported on in an article in UCA News.

“It is a blessing to have a priest in the family, but three is special,” rejoiced the priests’ parents. Their father, a farmer and security guard, and their mother, a babysitter, come from a very modest background, but they have never lacked love.

Although they were ordained together, the three brothers’ paths were separate. The oldest, Jessie, 30, entered the seminary in 2008, followed by Jestonie, 29, and Jerson, 28, in 2010.

Jessie originally wanted to become a police officer or an electrical engineer, and even enrolled in an engineering school before entering the seminary. Jestonie wanted to become a teacher, while Jerson dreamed of becoming a doctor.

“We’ve chosen this vocation neither by chance nor force but of our own free will,” they said after their ordination.

“We did not come from a rich family but we are very rich in our love for the Lord and his Church,” Fr. Jessie Avenido said after the ordination ceremony. The three brothers also revealed after the celebration that they have a younger brother … who is also considering the priesthood!