|The Holy Father performs the imposition of hands on Father Juan Carlos Mari, L.C.|
On Sunday April 29, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI
ordained 22 deacons of the diocese of Rome in Saint
Peter’s Basilica. He did this in keeping with John Paul
II´s tradition dating back to 1993 of personally ordaining the
new priests of the diocese of Rome on the fourth
Sunday of Easter, also known as “Good Shepherd Sunday”. This
day coincided with the celebration of the 44th World Day
of Prayer for Vocations. All the legionaries and consecrated men
and women present in Rome were in attendance.
One of the
deacons ordained was Father Juan Carlos Mari LC, the son
of the long time papal photographer Arturo Mari. The rest
of the deacons were from various other seminaries: Redemtoris Mater,
the major seminary of the diocese of Rome, Señora del
Divino Amor and Colegio Almo Capránica, for seminarians from the
diocese of Baní, in the Dominican Republic
Concelebrating with His Holiness
were Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general of His Holiness for
the diocese of Rome, the auxiliary bishops of Rome and
the superiors of the various seminaries. Also joining them were
Father Luis Garza, L.C., vicar general of the Legion of
Christ, Father Miguel Segura, L.C., rector of the center for
higher studies, and various other legionary priests.
|Entrance procession in Saint Peter’s Basilica. The Holy Father blesses the Legionary brothers standing behind the barrier.|
All of the Legionaries
and Regnum Christi members around the world are united with
the Church in great joy and thanksgiving for these 22
new priests who are dedicated to serving Christ and his
Kingdom, and in particular for the ordination of one of
our Legionary brothers.
Below, we have provided an English translation of
the homily delivered by the Holy Father for the occasion:
Dear Brothers and
Today, the Fourth Sunday of Easter and "Good Shepherd
Sunday", is the [44th] World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
All the faithful are exhorted to pray especially for vocations
to the priesthood and consecrated life. This morning in St
Peter´s Basilica I had the joy of ordaining 22 new
As I greet these new priests with affection together
with their relatives, I ask you to remember all those
whom the Lord continues to call by name, just as
he once called the Apostles on the shores of the
Sea of Galilee to become "fishers of men", that is,
his closest collaborators in the proclamation of the Gospel and
the service of the Kingdom of God in our time.
Let us ask for the gift of perseverance for all
priests: may they stay faithful to prayer, celebrate Holy Mass
|Father Juan Carlos Mari, L.C., responds “present” when his name is called as part of the rite of ordination.|
with ever renewed devotion, live listening to the Word of
God and day after day assimilate the same sentiments and
attitudes as those of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
us then pray for those who are preparing to take
on the priestly ministry and for the teachers who form
them in the seminaries of Rome, Italy, and the whole
world. Let us pray for families, so that the "seed"
of the call to the presbyteral ministry may continue to
mature and flower.
Gifts, ministries as communion
This year, the
theme of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is:
"The vocation to the service of the Church as communion".
In presenting the mystery of the Church in our time,
the Second Vatican Council gave priority to the category of
"communion". In this perspective, the rich variety of gifts and
ministries acquires great importance for the People of God.
the baptized are called to contribute to the work of
salvation. In the Church, however, there are some vocations which
are dedicated especially to the service of communion.
person primarily responsible for Catholic communion is the Pope, Successor
of Peter and Bishop of Rome; with him, the Bishops,
successors of the Apostles, are custodians and teachers of unity,
assisted by the priests. But consecrated persons and all the
faithful are also at the service of communion.
heart of Church communion is the Eucharist: the different vocations
|The Legionary brothers applaud Father Juan Carlos Mari, L.C., during the closing procession.|
draw from this supreme Sacrament the spiritual power to build
constantly, in charity, the one ecclesial Body.
Let us now
turn to Mary, Mother of the Good Shepherd. May she
who responded promptly to God´s call, saying: "Behold, I am
the handmaid of the Lord" (Lk 1: 38), help all
of us to accept with joy and willingness Christ´s invitation
to be his disciples, always motivated to be "of one
heart and soul" (cf. Acts 4: 32).
After the Regina
Caeli the Pope said:
I extend a cordial greeting to
the English-speaking pilgrims! Today, on this "Good Shepherd Sunday", the
Church observes the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. In
my message for this occasion, I emphasized that the call
to ordained and consecrated life in the Church is a
call to communion - a communion rooted in the unity
of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As Jesus tells us
in the Gospel, "The Father and I are one" (Jn
Today, I invite you to join me
in praying that young people will answer this call to
communion and the service of the Church by responding generously
to Christ´s call to priesthood and Religious life. May God
bless you all!
I wish you all a good