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44 New Legionaries
Cardinal Velasio De Paolis will ordain them December 15, 2012 at a ceremony at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome

Legionary ordination

Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, C.S., the Papal Delegate for the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi, will ordain 44 Legionaries of Christ this Saturday, December 15, 2012, in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome.  The event will be broadcast live starting at 10 am local time, through the webpage

The new priests of the Legion of Christ are between 29 and 39 years of age and come from twelve different countries: United States (11), Mexico (15), Brazil (6), Italy (3), Spain (2), and one each from Puerto Rico, England, Romania, Chile, Columbia, Poland, and Venezuela.

Among those to be ordained is a pair of brothers of Vietnamese background from Georgia, Fathers Jason and Peter Huynh. Also from the United States are Fathers John Pietropaoli (New York), Mark Thelen (Michigan), Michael Moriarty (Kansas), Ronald Conklin (Texas), Jeremy Lambert (Georgia), Brian Coe (Maryland), Stephen Dardis (Louisiana), Louis Melahn (Massachusetts), and Andrew Dalton (Georgia). Father Juan José Hernández Rodríguez will be the first Legionary priest from Puerto Rico.

Father Csaba Szász, from the region of Transylvania in Romania, will be the first Legionary from that country to be ordained. Father Mariusz Kielbasa will also be the first Polish Legionary priest. Fathers José Eduardo Sánchez, Luis Rebollo and Carlos Moreno each has another brother in the Legion of Christ.

Of the 44 new priests, 19 began their formation and the discernment of their vocation in one of the apostolic schools (minor seminaries) of the Legion. The rest entered the novitiate directly, either after finishing high school, during their university studies, or after several years of work.

The Legion of Christ is currently represented in 22 countries. Its members include 3 bishops, 920 priests and more than 2000 religious, novices, and students in its apostolic schools, as of December 2011.

The newly ordained priests tell the story of their personal journeys in a new book entitled The Joy of Believing. “It finally hit me that God was going to ask of me only and exactly what my heart—at its deepest level—truly wanted,” writes Father Stephen Dardis. Father James Shekelton, from England, and Father Jeremy Lambert both talk about how almost miraculous survival of life-threatening situations early in their lives convinced them that God had a special plan for them. “A priest is a living reminder that the great work of our life is to let God love us, to let him work in our soul and give us the unimaginable gifts he has planned for us,” says Father John Pietropaoli. Father Michael Moriarty tells about how it was his girlfriend who insisted that he needed to discern if God was calling him. “It’s a humbling, yet awe inspiring experience, to be a channel of God’s love to the souls he wants to touch through you,” he writes. “If this experience, simply as a seminarian and a deacon, has been tremendous in the past years, I can only imagine how truly awesome it will be as a priest.”

A special section on the priestly ordinations is now available on the Regnum Christi website.  Click here.

Photos of the ordination can be viewed on after the event. (Currently images from the diaconate ordinations in June 2012 are available.)

For more information, you can check the social network sites at and Twitter:@LegiondeCristo.



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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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