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Turn to Jesus (Article)

"You Have Persevered"
Cardinal Velasio de Paolis ordains 31 new Legionaries of Christ, calling them specially chosen for their role in history

A moment of peace

Rome, Italy -- “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.”

Cardinal Velasio de Paolis quoted John 15:13 as he celebrated the Mass and ordinations today at the St. John Lateran Cathedral at the Vatican of thirty-one new priests to the Legionaries of Christ.

“These are the Legionaries of Christ that the Church and the Legion need,” he said, saying they have been called at this point in time for a reason.

“You who have stayed are not personally responsible for the painful facts re-lived over the past 3 years,” he said. “By your decision and by your faithfulness, by your suffering and by bearing the shame of other Legionaries’ sins, you have enabled the purification and renewal of the congregation itself, and you have made it more beautiful in its service to Regnum Christi and to the Church.”

The Cardinal did not mince words
as he described the present circumstances of the order.

“There was a moment in the Legion when sin oppressed it, when sin became so visible and clamorous that it reached monstrous proportions and filled the media throughout the world,” he said. “The Legion’s survival seemed uncertain. The world looked at it with a pitiless gaze that uncovered the indigence and the shame. It was truly a difficult moment. For the Legionaries it was certainly an unpleasant and difficult time.”

But he added that, “Jesus Christ, the eternal high priest, has come to show us the merciful face of the Father, to forgive us and to make us adopted children of God. May this be the face of your priesthood too.”

The Cardinal gave the new priests these words of comfort. “He who calls and sends is also he who protects, strengthens, and makes fruitful... He who is called is never alone. He who is called to be a pastor of the people of God is guided by the great pastor, Christ himself.”

The Cardinal pointed out that the consecration of the Eucharist is the priest’s “greatest act.”

And he said, “The Catholic priest’s entire meaning is also found in the Paschal mystery and in the Eucharist which he celebrates and renews. In order to celebrate it worthily, the priest must be ready to repay Christ’s love with the gift of his own life. And this is the
Laying on of hands
Cardinal Velasio de Paolis lays hands upon Fr Éder Monegat.
great gift that the Lord gives you and asks of you today: the gift of your life, a life lived out in total, generous, and joyful love.”

He stated that these new Legionaries have been well prepared and well-formed for their priestly duties, “because the last few years of your preparation coincided with the path of purification and renewal that the Church asked the Legion to undertake under her guidance. This path has led up to an extraordinary general chapter, which will elect new superiors for the future and approve new constitutions for the congregation.”

The chapter will begin on January 8, 2014. 

Click here to read the Cardinal’s homily in its entirety.

Click here for photos from the ordination event.

Click here for the December 12, 2013 website article on the ordination, including a listing of all the new priests and where they are from.

A book with the vocation stories of the newly ordained is available on a special website for the 2013 Priestly Ordinations.



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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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