Jerusalem, 29 June, 2012
Ordination of Franciscan Friars in Jerusalem
It was an emotional embrace that said more than long speeches, when the parents hugged their newly ordained sons.
On the Feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul, six new deacons and three priests from all over the world received the gift of the Holy Spirit at the hands of the Apostolic Nuncio in Israel, His Excellency Mgr. Antonio Franco.
Brother Fernando Comparán Aguilar from Mexico, Brother Jorge Espinoza Gonzales from Mexico, and Brother Antonino Milazzo from Italy were ordained priests, while Brother Alan Estrada Morán from Mexico, Brother Gil Abad Noriega from Mexico, Brother Jan Kapistransky Lazovy from Slovakia, Brother Karol Miroslav Svarc from Slovakia, Brother Sandro Tomasevic from Croatia, and Brother Sergey Loktionov from Russia were ordained deacons.
The ordinands prostrated themselves on the floor after the reading of the Gospel of Saint Matthew while the assembly intoned the long litany invoking the Holy Spirit for these men whom the Lord has chosen for his service.
The Church of Saint Saviour barely contained all the faithful: the entire local community came to participate in this grace-filled event that gave new strength to the Universal Church.
"Whoever comes into contact with us must feel Christ present in our midst."
In his homily, His Excellency Mgr. Antonio Franco addressed the newly ordained men, saying, "You are the salt of the earth; I invite you to remain wholly in God's grace so that everyone will encounter in you the perfume of Christ."
His Excellency Mgr. Antonio Franco continued: That which is impossible to human strength is possible by virtue of ordination, of consecration to Christ, of this unction of the Spirit that gives us the strengths that humanly we lack.”
Also, the Very Reverend Father Custos, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, thanked the parents, at the end of the celebration, for having given their sons to the Order and to the Church.
A gift that today became a gift to us all!