Video Summary of the Priestly Ordinations (20 May 2023)

Cardinal Lazarus You Heung-sik, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy, ordained 25 faithful of Opus Dei on 20 May in St. Eugene in Rome.

Cardinal Lazarus You Heung-sik ordained 25 faithful of Opus Dei to the priesthood. In his homily (link to the full text) he reminded them that Christ "does not make you his instruments only for a period of time, but forever. A new union is established between you and Jesus today, which will never dissolve."

The Prelate of Opus Dei also addressed the new priests at the end of the ceremony (link to the full text). "As you are well aware, in times of trial (which you will surely encounter), you will find strength in the celebration of the Eucharist, prayer, the sacrament of Reconciliation, and spiritual direction."

Ordenaciones sacerdotales 2023

The new priests

Vitus Ntube, who hails from Anambra State and was born in Kaduna State. He studied Botany at the University of Ibadan. He is currently completing his studies in Rome with research on Joseph Ratzinger's contribution to the Theology of Religion. He says that “being a priest will be a way of spreading Truth and Joy, what St. Augustine calls the gaudium de veritate, helping everyone to discover true joy and the joy of truth.”

Sylvanus Asogwa is from Enugu State. After his graduation from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, he worked briefly in a laboratory as a Microbiologist and later as a teacher in Enugu State and Lagos State respectively. He is in the final stages of completing his doctorate thesis on The Trinitarian Anthropology of St. Gregory of Nissa, at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, in Rome.

The third Nigerian is Agaba Otache, who was born in Kaduna State. He studied at Christ the King College, Gwagwalada, Abuja, and later at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Chemistry. Agaba also holds a master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Ibadan. It was there at the Irawo University Centre that he came into contact with Opus Dei and found his vocation. Currently, he is in Rome to complete a doctoral degree in Theology.  “I want to say a big thank you for all the donations and contributions that have been so helpful to me in my journey so far. Thank you. God bless you. I promise to have you all in my prayers.”

Another of the future priests is Philip Moss. He was born in Ecuador but raised in Washington DC. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame and worked for several years in New York before undertaking theological studies in Rome. “I am excited,” says Philip, “to think that I will soon be working as a priest, making Christ present in the Church and for all humanity.”

Pablo Tevere, an Argentinian public accountant by profession, moved to Bolivia in 1997, where he worked for 21 years in development projects in one of the poorest rural areas of the country. “When I arrived in Bolivia, I got involved in the development cooperation sector, to collaborate in social activities in the Altiplano of Bolivia. This area of the country is made up of small indigenous Aymara communities where poverty and social marginalisation are widespread. Now, with my new role as a deacon and in a few days' time as a priest, I am looking forward to continuing my work with the most disadvantaged people to help with the needs of their soul.”

Javier Marrodán, from Pamplona (Spain), will be ordained after a long professional career in journalism and teaching. He worked at Diario de Navarra between 1988 and 2007, and then at the Faculty of Communications in the University of Navarra, until 2019. He thinks that there may be a certain continuity in the pastoral work that awaits him from now on: “I have dedicated myself for a long time to telling stories, and trying to do it well,” he says. “This may have been good training for my future work as a priest.”

Also among the ordinands is Panamanian Giancarlos Candanedo Páez, a lawyer who has worked in public service, politics and university teaching. He recalls that “since I was a child, I always had the desire to serve my country and the Church through politics, but thought that these were incompatible. Discovering the message of Opus Dei helped me see that all honest work can be a path to sanctity, and this includes politics and public service. He adds: “Today God is asking me to serve him in another way, bringing his Word, comfort and mercy to the whole world. It is a great responsibility that I take on with joy and hope.”

Jorge Oliveira was born in Portugal. After graduating in Civil Engineering at the Instituto Superior Técnico, he dedicated his professional life to project management in the construction and banking sectors. He loves running and has completed four marathons and seventy-two half marathons: “I never thought God would call me to be a priest. I know I have family and friends praying for me and for the 24 others who will be ordained with me. With my sights set on WYD in Lisbon and following the example of Pope Francis, I would like my life to be a joyful service to all, and especially to the youngest persons in society.”

The 25 candidates come from Spain, Nigeria, Mexico, Chile, Portugal, Argentina, Brazil, the United States, Costa Rica, Panama and Peru.

Here are their names:

Sylvanus Sobechi Elias Asogwa (Nigeria)

Rodrigo Ayude Puga (Spain)

Alejandro Bertelsen Simonetti (Chile)

Giancarlos Candanedo Páez (Panama)

Íñigo Cortés Elorza (Croatia)

Juan Esteban de Sas Rosero (Costa Rica)

Héctor Devesa Santacreu (Spain)

Pablo Espinosa Malpartida (Spain)

Daniel Alberto Flores González (Mexico)

Francisco de Castilho Monteiro Gil Serrano (Portugal)

Roberto Edgard Hernani Gómez (Peru)

Juan Ignacio Izquierdo Hübner (Chile)

Borja Lleó de Nalda (Spain)

Alexandre Madruga da Costa Araújo (Brazil)

Javier Marrodán Ciordia (Spain)

José María Martínez Ortega (Spain)

Philip Moss (United States)

Vitus Chekwube Ntube (Nigeria)

Jorge Oliveira (Portugal)

Agaba Simon Otache (Nigeria)

Ferran Parcerisa Pujol (Spain)

Uxío Rojo Otero (Spain)

Pablo Taberner Sanchis (Spain)

Pablo Osvaldo Tevere (Argentina)

Rodrigo Vera Aguilar (Mexico)