"Who am I for you?": the priestly ordinations at St Saviour

On Monday 29th June, on the day of the solemnity of St. Peter and St Paul, five deacons received the priestly ordination by the imposition of the hands of Mons. PierbattistaPizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate at St Saviour’s church.

Originally from Peru and Mexico, Fr. Alexander, Fr. Angel, Fr. Ricardo, Fr. Rodrigo and Fr. Wilder are now new priests. At the beginning of the celebration, the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Francesco Patton, who concelebrated the function, presented them to the Apostolic Administrator, bearing witness that he deemed them worthy of entering the second degree of the sacrament of the Holy Order. Many priests came for the occasion, including Mons. Marcuzzo, Auxiliary Bishop of Jerusalem, the Vicar of the Custody of the Holy Land, Fr. DobromirJasztaland the guardian of St Saviour, Fr. Marcelo Cichinelli.

People will not expect to hear a speech about Jesus from you” said Mons. Pizzaballa in his comment on the readings, “but to understand from your life your desire for Him, being inside that direct question that Jesus asked His disciples and which He continues to ask each one of you, every day, all the time:  who am I for you?This is the first thing we have to make ours, today.

Because becoming priests means ensuring that life is a dialogue, a relationship and where, inside this relationship, we dare expose ourselves to mutual knowledge, to knowing about one another.What is the Eucharist, what are the sacraments, if not a dialogue?” The celebration then continued with the litanies of the Saints, the imposition of the hands and the prayer of consecration.

This was followed by the Explanatory Rites: the vestition of the priestly robes, the unction with chrism and the handing over of the Bread and of the Wine.

At the end of the Holy Mass, Fr. Angel spoke to thank all those who had participated in the celebration and in their path of personal and spiritual formation.The new priest invited everyone to pray for one another, “reminding you that it is mutual prayer which makes us one in Christ.”The Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Francesco Patton,concluded the celebration with a short message of wishes for the priests: “If you go and celebrate at the Missionary Sisters of Charity in Jerusalem,  in the sacristy there is a sign in English which says “You have to celebrate every Mass as though it were the first, the last and the only one.” This applies to every sacrament and this is what I hope for you: that you may always live your service as though it were the first, the last and the only one," said Fr. Patton.

"So far, on the path of formation, I have realized two things; that nothing is possible if we do not grasp on to the Lord, and that it is in the Church and in the community that we receive the courage and the drive to continue giving our life,”said Fr. Ricardo. "On the days before the ordination, I received great support from  many people. Looking around me, I think that this is the best thing: experiencing that although the Lord often does not remember me, He and His Providence are always next to me holding out a hand, embracing ne, suggesting some words of comfort through the people I meet.”



Giovanni Malaspina