Three new ordinations for the Custody

While last June the Custody was rejoicing in the ordination of Fra Sergio Galdi for the Holy Land Province, three more Franciscans of the Custody were ordained during August.

On the 18th of August in the Church of Saint Anthony of Padua in Harissa, Lebanon, Fra Samhar Ishak was ordained deacon, with the Latin Apostolic Vicar of Lebanon, Mgr. Boulos Dahdah, laying on hands and offering the prayer of consecration.

A Syrian national, Fra Samhar’s ordination in Lebanon allowed the presence not only of his family and some of his friends, but also of the friars of the Saint Paul Region (the region of the Custody province that encompasses Lebanon and Syria), as well as of Father Najib Ibrahim from Jerusalem.

On the 25th it was the turn of Fra Jihad Krayem. Fra Jihad was ordained priest by Mgr. Paul Rouhana, Patriarchal Vicar of the Maronite Diocese of Sarba, who laid on hands and pronounced the prayer of consecration in Fra Jihad’s parish church, Al Sououd Church in Dbayeh, north of Beirut. Also present was the Regional Minister, Fra Halim Noujeim.

A large assembly shared the new priest’s joy. Among those present were many young Christians of the Apostolic Marian Movement and various missionary groups.

In the Latin Rite, the Sacrament of Ordination takes place after the Liturgy of the Word, but in the Maronite Rite, to which Fra Jihad belongs, it is celebrated after the Eucharistic Prayer. The bishop places one hand on the candidate’s head and the other on the Blessed Sacrament. Then, following the laying on of hands and the anointment of the ordinand’s hands, the new priest receives the priestly vestments. Accompanied by his sponsor-priest and the other celebrants, he carries the Blessed Sacrament in procession inside the church. The celebration ends with the communion of the faithful.

The Custody of the Holy Land is present in two monasteries in Lebanon, one in Beirut and the other in Harissa, where seven friars (four in one monastery and three in the other) assure the Custody’s spiritual and other ministries in Beirut, Harissa, Tripoli, Tyr and Deir Mimas.

On the 28th of August, H.E. Mgr. Nil Yuriy Lushchak OFM, Auxiliary Vicar of Moukatcheve (Ruthenia) ordained Fra Sergey Loktionov priest through the laying on of hands and the prayer of consecration in accordance with the Melchite Rite in Tapac, in the Ukraine.

Three nationalities, three rites, but one and the same Franciscan vocation in the service of the Holy Land. The Custody offers its best wishes to the new priests and deacon and thanks them for embodying, each within his own origins and rite, the universality of their vocation.

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