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Turn to Jesus (Article)

A Sign of Hope for the Future
Cardinal Velasio De Paolis Ordains 49 Legionary Priests at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran

ord 2011 first
Group photo of the 49 newly ordained priests with Cardinal De Paolis.

On December 12, 2011, the memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe, at 10 A.M., Cardenal Velasio De Paolis. C.S., the Papal Delegate for the Legionaries of Christ, ordained 49 Legionaries of Christ, as well as Father Pablo Galvan, the brother of one of the Legionaries ordained, who is a member of the Somascan Fathers.

The ceremony took place at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome. About 2,000 guests were present, including parents, relatives, friends, and members of the Legionaries of Christ, the Regnum Christi Movement, and the Somascan Fathers. Videos of the ordination itself are now available at

In his homily, the papal delegate observed that “the priesthood is a precious gift because it makes Jesus present in the midst of all of us. It makes him present to sanctify us; it is a precious gift that we need to discover more each day.” 

After expressing his gratitude
card velasio homily
During his homily, Cardinal De Paolis invited the ordinands to consider their priesthood as a
to the families for regarding their son’s vocation as a gift, he emphasized that the ordination of 49 new priests is “a reason for consolation on the path of rediscovering the congregation’s mission. The path is at times tiring, but you are walking it with trust in the Church.”

“This moment is one of consolation for the Legion. These vocations open the way to hope and make us look to the future,” he said.

Among the 49 newly ordained Legionaries of Christ, the youngest is 29, and the oldest is 35. The new priests come from seven countries: the United States (15), México (20), Brazil (5), Colombia (5), Italy (2), Spain (1), and Hungary (1).

The priests tell their personal journey in a new book entitled Witness of God’s Gift (Dios lo da todo). The stories show that there is a great variety of paths that lead these young men to the
ordination 2011 view of basilica
The ordination took place in a splendid setting: the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome.

Three pairs of brothers were ordained today: Fathers Jason and Michael Mitchell, from western Pennsylvania; Fathers Juan Pablo and Andres Botero from Columbia; and Father Marcos Galvan and his brother Father Pablo, from Tampico, Mexico. Father Támas Fejéregyházi will be the first Legionary priest from Hungary; as a youth, he was forced to wear the uniform of his country’s Communist youth organizations. Father Roberto Carlos Lazalde, from Durango, Mexico, dreamed of being a professional soccer player, and he played for the minor-league Cruz Azul team. However, when he was 18 and about to fulfill his dream, he decided instead to don a religious habit of the Legionaries of Christ.

Many other priests gave up childhood dreams in order to follow their call to the priesthood: Father Stephen Costello, from central Florida, was offered several scholarships for his trombone skills. Father José Guadalupe Padua already had a masters in law, when, during Pope John Paul II’s 1999 visit to Mexico City, his eyes met those of the Holy Father, an experience that changed his life. All of them experienced what Pope Benedict said to young people at the beginning of his pontificate: “Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return.”

With these 49 new priests, the Legionaries now have more than 900 priests who work in over 20 countries throughout the world.

To read a selection of vocation stories of the newly ordained priests, visit the special section on the priestly ordination.



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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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