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 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
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
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.”
|Cardinal Velasio de Paolis lays hands upon Fr Éder Monegat.|
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.
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.