Medellín, July 22, 2008. On Saturday, July 19, the first three
Colombian Legionaries of Christ were ordained deacons. The ceremony took
place in the parish of San Joaquín, in the city
of Medellín, and was presided over by Bishop Víctor Manuel
Ochoa Cadavid, the auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Medellín.
Fr José Manuel Otaolaurruchi, LC, the territorial director of Colombia
and Venezuela, concelebrated, along with Fr José de Jesús Rodríguez
de la Torre, the instructor of novices, and another 18
priests, 13 of whom were Legionaries.
|The new deacons with Bishop Víctor Ochoa Cadavid, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Medellín, Fr José Manuel Otaolaurruchi, LC, territorial director for Venezuela and Colombia, and Fr José de Jesús Rodríguez de la Torre, instructor of novices.|
The ceremony was
attended by about 800 people, including relatives, friends, Regnum Christi
members, and benefactors, as well as all of the Legionary
religious who carry out their apostolic work in Colombia.
The new Legionary deacons are John Jader Vanegas, Luis Alberto
Henao Arbeláez, and Guillermo Herrera, LC. All three come from
the Colombian department of Antioquia, and range from 30 to
32 in age.
The three Colombian deacons are
part of a larger group of about 50 Legionaries ordained
to the diaconate in various places over the summer. On
December 20, the entire group will be ordained to the
priesthood in the Roman basilica of St Paul Outside the
|Bishop Víctor lays hands on new deacon Luis Alberto Henao, LC.|
During the homily, Bishop Víctor Ochoa encouraged the
new deacons to put Christ in the center and be
“Credible witnesses of the Gospel” (Benedict XVI, Encyclical Deus caritas
est, n. 31).
He also referred to their
responsibility as Legionaries of Christ, as “inheritors of a great
spiritual legacy” and exhorted them to seek love for Christ,
total self-giving to the Church, as well as love for
their pastors and for the Holy Father: “This is your
path of holiness and Christian life. It is a challenge
and an effortful response to God,” he said. Before concluding,
he entrusted the first fruits of the Legion of Christ
in Colombia into the hands of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The ordination of the first Colombian Legionaries of
Christ was held on the 15th anniversary of the foundation
of the Legion of Christ and of Regnum Christi in
Colombia. It is currently present in 10 cities, with a
network of schools and apostolates, including the Cumbres Schools in
Medellín and Bogotá and the Helping Hand School in Bello,
Antioquia, which educates children from poor families. The Regnum Christi
Movement in Colombia currently organizes about 8,500 volunteers and benefits
more than 50,000 people with its programs, especially its formation
and social work outreach programs for poor children.
|Deacon Guillermo Herrera greets the bishop after his ordination to the diaconate.|
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The newspaper “El Colombiano”, one of
the main Colombian newspapers, published an article on the ordination
of the first Colombian Legionaries of Christ. It can be
viewed at this link.