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Ordinations at Saint Savior: "Vocation is a gift of God’s infinite love."

Every year’s ordination is the same ceremony, yet every year it is a new joy. This year the joy was lovely to behold on the faces of the new priests and deacons.

Ordained priest on Saturday, June 29, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul:
Fra Alán Antonio de Jesus Estrada Morán (Prov. SS. Francis and James and James, Mexique)
Fra Gil Abad Noriega Muñiz (Prov. SS. Francis and James and James, Mexico)
Fra Sandro Tomašević (Prov. SS. Cyril and Methodius, Croatia)
Fra Jan Kapistransky Lazovy (Prov. St. Savior, Slovakia)
Fra Karol Miroslav Švarc (Prov. St. Savior, Slovakia)
Fra Sergio Galdi (Prov. Custody of the Holy Land)

Ordained deacons:
Fra Esparza Hugo Castro (Mexico)
Fra Lottermann Claudio André (Brazil)
Fra Agostinho Matlavele (Mozambique)
Fra Ivaldo évangéliste Mendonça (Brazil)
Fra Edson Augusto Nhatwe (Mozambique)
Fra Antonio Šakota (Herzegovina)
Fra Adelmo Vásquez Díaz (Peru)

The Custody of the Holy Land has had the pleasure of preparing the candidates these past few years, and, on this feast of Saints Peter and Paul, of organizing the celebration in the church of Saint Savior Monastery of Jerusalem.

A very large assembly came to participate in the joy of the new priests and deacons, some of whose families and friends were unable to join them.

In the presence of the Nuncio and Apostolic Delegate, Monsignor Giuseppe Lazzarotto, together with many friars of the Custody and the Custos of the Holy Land—who had been confirmed for another three years in this appointment the previous evening by Pope Francis—the Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Monsignor Fouad Twal, laid hands on the ordinands and pronounced the prayer of consecration, as these young Franciscans saw their lives plunged ever deeper into the infinite love of the Lord.

“Ordination marks a step, the end of your time of formation, but it is only the beginning,” the patriarch told them in his homily. “Today you have freely and irrevocably given yourselves to God, but every day you must renew your response to the call.” “The call, vocation, is a gift of God’s infinite love.”

In the words of Pope Francis, the patriarch told them, “It is in giving yourselves and giving the gospel to others, in communicating your faith, in sharing your love of Jesus” that you will meet the Lord.

Further quoting Pope Francis, the patriarch declared forcefully, “the priest is not a priest for himself, but for the people”. The patriarch invited new priests and deacons to be very close to the people and especially “never to abandoto the mercy, compassion, goodness, faithfulness, and patience of the Lord Jesus.”

In closing, the patriarch addressed an exhortation to the ordinands, in which the Custody joins, “And wherever you go, bear always in your heart love for this Mother Church, which prepared you for the priesthood and who consecrates you today. Mabrouk! Congratulations!”

The festivities continued with (well merited) refreshments shared in the Curia Hall and a festive lunch in the Saint Savior refectory, followed in the evening by dinner and a joyful celebration.

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