Ordinations in Rome: “Help many people to know the life of Jesus”

Bishop Ricardo García, the consecrating bishop, told the twenty-four new priests of Opus Dei that “your lives, starting today, will be marked by the ministry of the sacraments, the ministry of the word and the ministry of charity.”

Bishop Ricardo García, bishop of the prelature of Yauyos-Cañete-Huarochirí (Peru), ordained 24 priests from the prelature of Opus Dei this morning, in the Basilica of San Eugenio in Rome. The Prelate of Opus Dei, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz, took part in the ceremony from the presbytery and laid hands on the new priests after the consecrating bishop.

Download in English the entire homily of Bishop Ricardo García

In his homily, Bishop Ricardo García exhorted the new priests to take special care of their love for the Eucharist and the Holy Mass. “Being priests,” he reminded them, “implies being messengers of the Word of God. From now on, you will have the opportunity and the privilege of being able to help many people to come to know better the life of Jesus and to deepen in the riches of our faith.”

He also reminded them of these words of Saint Josemaría: “This good and sincere desire of yours to be always occupied in doing good to others, just like your brothers and your sisters, is for me a source of great pride and consolation, and is why I can say that you are gaudium meum et corona mea (Phil 4:1): my joy and my crown.”

“Let us also pray for peace,” he concluded, “uniting ourselves to the prayer of the Pope and the whole Church, in these times of war between fraternal nations.”

Words of Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz thanked Bishop Ricardo Garcia for his presence, and asked that “we continue praying a lot for the Pope and his intentions, which encompass the entire Church and the entire world. And now, in a special way, for peace, going to our Lady’s intercession.”

He also addressed some words to the families of the new priests: “To the parents, brothers and sisters and friends of the new priests, I also wish to express my congratulations. It is a great joy to share these moments with you. It will also be a joy for parents who accompany us from a distance or from Heaven. You too have helped to bring about in your children the precious gift of the priestly vocation. Continue to accompany them always with your prayers.”

Brief biographies of some of the new priests

Among the new priests who come from Europe is the Swiss Lorenzo de Vittori, 35 years old. He studied theoretical physics at the Federal Polytechnic School of Zurich, and later pursued studies of theology in Rome. As a researcher he specialized in the field of general relativity and obtained his doctorate with a thesis on the gravitational waves emitted by the collisions of black holes. For ten years he formed part of the team of directors of the Allenmoos University Residence in Zurich, while teaching mathematics in the University and assisting in educational projects with young people. Reflecting on his future as a priest, he says he hopes “to be able to help people discover the beauty and marvel of God’s forgiveness for us, and the equally divine forgiveness between one another.”

A number of the European priests come from Spain, including the Valencian Marcos Cavestany, who is 33 years old. Before coming to Rome to study theology, he studied architecture in Barcelona and in La Coruña, combining his professional work with running a number of associations for youth and volunteering in the NGO International Cooperation. “I learned a lot in the volunteer activities, both guiding adolescents and assisting the elderly near the end of their life. I see the priesthood as a vocation fully identified with the idea of the service our Lord is asking of us.”

When asked about his future ministry, Marcos says that “now, when the Pope is inviting us to enter more deeply into the meaning of synodality, I ask the Holy Spirit to make us experts in the art of encounter, in order to accompany all our brothers and sisters in the Church, enrich ourselves with their experience, and dedicate a lot of time to listening, especially through spiritual accompaniment and the sacrament of Confession. As the Pope stresses, it should be a listening that involves our whole heart and not only our ears, and that implies first being open to what God is telling us through his Word, through the saints, and through the tradition passed on to us by those who have gone before us on this path of more than two thousand years.”

José Paulo Luistro comes from Asia. 32 years old, he was born in Manila, the Philippines. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in psychology at the University of the Philippines, after which he taught English in a school in Quezon City. “It was during my first months as a teacher that I decided to join Opus Dei as a Numerary,” José Paulo says, “even though I began considering this possibility soon after entering the University. With my priestly ordination, I will be able to lend my hands to Christ and give Him to others through the Eucharist, in the midst of a world in which so many souls are truly hungering for Him.”

The architect Jorge Castillo was born in 1978, in Toluca, Mexico. Before pursuing his studies in Rome, he dedicated himself to activities of Christian formation for adolescents and university students in Monterrey. He moved to Seoul, South Korea, to help organize some of these same activities and also worked in the automotive industry on projects for Hyundai and Kia. “My experience in Asia was truly a gift for me, a great cultural and professional discovery. I think that God makes use of very diverse experiences to prepare each of his priests so we may serve Him in the best way possible, wherever God wants.”

The new priests also include an American, John Boles, born 31 years ago in Pasadena, California. The second of nine siblings, he studied evolutionary biology in the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). He worked in New York City as a research assistant in the area of prosthetic hips and knees. In Rome he studied Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. He asks for prayers so that “all of us priests may truly know how to serve, with the same sentiments as Christ. This will only be possible if we rely on the grace of the Sacrament, the help of our Lord, and everyone’s prayers.”

Several of the new priests come from Latin America, including the Ecuatorian Andres Cardenas Matute, 32 years old. After studying journalism, he wrote articles for the media, particularly in the area of culture. “It is a meeting place,” Andres says, “where one seeks God’s presence, even if in a ‘halting way,’ as Saint Paul says. As a priest I am excited to be able to pass on my experience of God’s presence to many people, above all in the Eucharist but also in ordinary life, which is the source of authentic peace. I have discovered this personally in my own life, and I hope to pass it on to many others.”

These are the names of the deacons who will be ordained priests on May 21:

  • John Warriner Boles (United States)
  • Lucas Calonje Espinosa (Spain)
  • Andres Ramiro Cardenas Matute (Ecuador)
  • Jorge Francisco Castillo Olvera (Mexico)
  • Marcos Cavestany Olivares (Spain)
  • Eduardo de la Morena de la Fuente (Spain)
  • Lorenzo de Vittori (Switzerland)
  • Etienne Alexandre Marie Desjonquères (France)
  • Jose Maria Diaz Dorronsoro (Spain)
  • Santiago Diaz Gonzalez (Spain)
  • Jaime Falcó Prieto (Spain)
  • Jose Paulo Reyes Luistro (Philippines)
  • Ignacio Jose Manzano Fontaine (Argentina)
  • Pedro Medina de Arteaga (Colombia)
  • Carlos Merino Tormo (Spain)
  • Jesus Salvador Olmeda Roman (Mexico)
  • Gabriel Maria Perez Halcon (Spain)
  • Alberto Perez Herrera (Spain)
  • Ruben Rodriguez Rubio (Spain)
  • Felipe Gustavo Roman Larrea (Ecuador)
  • David Samudio Torres (Colombia)
  • Juan Pablo Sanchez del Moral (Spain)
  • Santiago Vigo Ferrera (Spain)
  • Alvaro Zaragoza Salcedo (Spain)