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"Lord, if it is you, bid me to walk across the waters."
25 Legionaries of Christ ordained as transitional deacons

Bishop Fernando Vérgez, Secretary General of the Vatican Governorate, ordained 25 Legionaries of Christ as deacons on the morning of June 29, 2014, in the chapel of the Center of Higher Studies of the Legion of Christ in Rome.

During the homily, Bishop Vérgez said that this ordination reminded him of his own ordination to the transitional deaconate, 45 years ago.  He reflected that the ministry of the deacon consists in service and charity, as well as the ministry of the Word.  “To receive this sacrament on the feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul brings us into the mystery of fidelity to the Church and to the Word that these two apostles transmitted to us.”  In this context, he reminded the deacons that one of the essential elements of Legionary spirituality is unconditional adherence to the Pope, the successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ.

At the end of the Mass, Bishop Vérgez transmitted the Holy Father’s greetings to the deacons: “Recently, I spoke with the Holy Father.  I told him that I was coming to ordain these brothers.  I asked for his blessing and his prayers.  He asked me to bring his blessing to you and asked you to pray for him.  As a sign of this request, a couple of days later he sent me rosaries especially for each of you.  Pray for the Holy Father with them and join your prayers to his always.”  Bishop Vérgez distributed the rosaries from Pope Francis to the new deacons in the sacristy after the Mass.

The new deacons hail from five countries: United States, Mexico, Spain, Brazil and Colombia.  Family members of the new deacons from around the world were present in the ceremony, along with the communities of the Legionaries of Christ, the consecrated women and the consecrated lay men of Regnum Christi, as well as Fr. Eduardo Robles Gil, LC, the congregation’s general director.

Deacon Benjamin O’Loughlin, from Syracuse, New York, said “I think St. Peter’s words to Jesus summarize what I have lived today: ‘Lord, if it is you, bid me walk across the waters.’”

Kathryn Bender, from Steubenville, Ohio, Deacon John Bender’s mother, said: “This day is a truly great blessing and grace for our son, for our family, and for the entire Legion.  We are especially grateful for all the love and devotion shown by Fr. Alvaro and all the Legionary priests throughout the years of his formation.”

Along with these deacons, five other Legionaries have been ordained deacons recently in the United States, Australia, France, and Hungary.  In the next few days, others will be ordained deacons in New Zealand, Guatemala, Mexico and Brazil.  In December, 2014, this group of new deacons will be ordained priests.  It is projected that 36 Legionaries will be ordained priests in December.



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