Priestly Ordination of 34 Faithful of Opus Dei, St. Eugene's Basilica, Rome (May 4, 2019)
34 faithful of Opus Dei received priestly ordination on Saturday, May 4, in the Basilica of St. Eugene, from the hands of Cardinal Antonio Cañizares. The new priests come from 16 countries and now form part of the clergy of the Prelature.
In his homily, addressing the soon-to-be-priests, the Cardinal said: “Never forget: the good shepherd is the one who, like Christ, always thinks of the good of souls rather than his own personal interests. Thus he is capable of the greatest sacrifices, because he knows how to love.”
The Prelate of Opus Dei, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz, participated in the ceremony from the presbytery. Many relatives and friends of the new priests were in attendance.
“Only love,” Cardinal Cañizares said, “can give meaning to a life of dedication: a love that we want to endure 'to the end,' to the point of forgetting ourselves, and that leads us to live happily, working wherever God wants us, carrying out his will with loving care.”
Citing Pope Francis, Cañizares stressed: “Accompaniment is the key to being pastors today. We need ministers who embody the closeness of the Good Shepherd, priests who are living icons of closeness.”
The Cardinal also encouraged the new priests to take special care of the Mass as well as the sacrament of Penance: “Faced with the marvel of being a confessor, of being a minister of God’s grace, you should consider that we all need forgiveness: may you be good confessors as well as good penitents. Accompanying others means you are also striving to go forward, fighting against your own shortcomings while counting on God's grace.”
The celebrant imagined what St. Josemaría might have said to the families of the ordinands: “Fill yourselves with joy because the Lord has deigned to choose one of your family as his minister, so that he might bring God’s peace to the whole world.” “God always promises a future,” he said, “and today he is announcing to us once again that he will never stop sending us shepherds and that the assistance of the priestly ministry will never be lacking."
The new priests came from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Venezuela, Chile, United States, Kenya, France, Paraguay, El Salvador, Uganda, Philippines, Peru, and Italy.
These are the new priests: Sérgio Sardinha de Azevedo of Brazil; Luis Miguel Bravo Álvarez of Colombia; José María Cerveró García of Spain; Miguel Ángel de Fuentes Guillén, from Spain; Ernesto de la Peña González of Mexico; José Luis de Prada Llusá of Spain; Javier María Erburu Calvo of Spain; Samuel Thomas Harold Fancourt of New Zealand; Gerardo Andrés Febres-Cordero Carrillo from Venezuela; José Nicolás Garcés Lira of Chile; Óscar Garza Aincioa of Spain; Pedro González-Aller Gross of Spain; John Paul Graells Antón of the United States; Diego Guerrero Gil from Spain; Jorge Iriarte Franco of Spain; Paul Muleli Kioko of Kenya; Yann Le Bras of France; Cristhian Alcides Lezcano Vicencini of Paraguay; Álvaro Linares Rodríguez of Spain; Miguel Llamas Díez of Spain; Eduardo Andrés Marín Perna of El Salvador; Javier Martínez González of Spain; Luis María Martínez Otero of Spain; Bernardo José Montes Arraztoa from Chile; Bernard Kagunda Nderito of Kenya; Deogratias Gumisiriza Nyamutale of Uganda; Nathaniel Peña Baluda of the Philippines; Rafael Quinto Pojol of the Philippines; César Augusto Risco Benites of Peru; Rafael de Freitas Sartori of Brazil; David Saumell Ocáriz of Spain; Cayetano Taberner Navarro of Spain; Claudio Tagliapietra of Italy; Fernando María Valdés López of Spain.
Romana, n. 68, January-June 2019, p. 117-118.