Rome, December 24, 2010. At 9:30 a.m. today, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis C.S., President of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See and Pontifical Delegate for the Legion of Christ ordained 61 Legionaries of Christ to the priesthood. The ceremony was attended by the family members, friends, fellow Legionaries, and Regnum Christi members who gathered in Rome for the occasion. We invite our readers to entrust these new priests to their prayers.
The ceremony was held in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and was concelebrated by Bishop Brian Farrell, LC, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, Bishop Paolo Schiavon, auxiliary bishop for the diocese of Rome, and a group of Legionary priests celebrating the 25th anniversary of their own priesthood today, including Fr Alvaro Corcuera, LC, general director of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi, and Fr Luis Garza, LC, vicar general of the congregation and the Movement. The multimedia section of this web page will soon offer a video recording of the Mass for viewing.
Cardinal Velasio De Paolis developed his homily around a reflection on the meaning of the priesthood. He discussed the meaning of the priesthood in pagan civilizations, in the Old Testament, and finally, its splendor in the New Testament. It was while expanding on this last point that he commented that “Jesus puts himself in our midst through us when the priest proclaims the Word—not his word, but Christ’s Word. He does not do it to proclaim himself, but to proclaim Him. […] He should not present himself, but the love and the teaching that belongs to Him.” He also said, “Today we need priests so that Jesus will sustain us, sanctify us, forgive us. We need authentic pastors. […] We need priests for humanity!”
The 61 candidates for Holy Orders come from eleven countries: Brazil (4), Canada (3), Germany (1), Italy (6), Mexico (28), New Zealand (1), South Korea (1), Spain (7), the United States (7), Venezuela (2) and Vietnam (1). With the exception of one candidate, their ages range from 30 to 40.
Many of the new priests found their vocation by participating in youth groups or evangelization missions of Regnum Christi, the ecclesial movement that shares in the spirituality of the Legionaries of Christ. Others were students in the congregation’s minor seminaries (apostolic schools). Some had already completed their university degree when God’s call broke into their own plans.
Their vocation stories, published in the book Desde el Corazón de Cristo (From the Heart of Christ), show the great variety of paths that led them to religious life and now to the priesthood. Their vocation stories can also be read in this special section.
The new priests will spend Christmas in Rome with their families and fellow Legionaries of Christ. On December 29, they will attend the general audience with the Holy Father to express their filial loyalty and to ask for his apostolic blessing. Afterwards, some will continue their advanced studies in theology, and the rest will begin their priestly ministry.
We thank God for these new priests at the service of the Church and we pray for their perseverance and sanctification.
If you would like to send a note of congratulations to the new priests or to the whole group, you can do so by filling out this format with your information and the message you wish to send.