Prelate of Opus Dei ordains 26 priests from 12 countries
May the faithful “discover the holy and merciful face of the Redeemer” through you, said Bishop Echevarría to the new priests at the ordination ceremony in the Basilica of San Eugenio in Rome on May 31.
Bishop Echevarría: “A mission to be a living, transparent image of Christ.”
In his homily, Bishop Echevarría encouraged the new priests to follow the example of St. Josemaría, “a model of fully priestly existence.” The Prelate told them: “I would like to bring to your recollection one of these significant aspects of St. Josemaría’s life, one that is very closely united to the visible representation of Christ as Priest, Teacher, and Shepherd, which I entrust to each of you as a mission. What I want to emphasize is the necessity to be, in every moment, a living, transparent image of Christ, in such a way that the faithful – looking at you, listening to your preaching, contemplating your behavior – might discover the holy and merciful face of the Redeemer.”
Directing himself to their families, he added: “Parents and siblings of the new priests, thank our Lord for the affection with which he has distinguished your family. Try to correspond to so much love with the renewal of your Christian life."
Laurent Mazingi: “The Pope’s whole life is a great lesson”
As for the cruel war that has battered the Congo for years, Laurent affirms that “violence is a road without a future,” and says that he prays every day “for all those who can build peace, that they not elude this urgent task.”
On the five years of theological studies that he has spent in Rome, the Congolese economist, now priest, says that he will take from Rome “a desire for peace, Christian peace, that leads you to know how to forgive and ask pardon. Here I have understood even more that the Church is my family, and that one must love it each day more and serve it unconditionally.”
Two priests at home
One of the Europeans being ordained was Stéphane Hénaux, 31, from Poyssy, France. This will be a memorable year for the Hénaux family, with two children being ordained as priests. “My brother Pierre Antoine,” explains Stéphane, “is a Benedictine at the monastery of Fontgombault, near Poitiers, and he will be ordained this summer. My parents, who are in Opus Dei, are very happy. Pierre Antoine and I pray that we may be very faithful to God.”
“Shohei, to be a priest is something very nice and very big”
Another of the new priests is Shohei Kimura, of Osaka, Japan. His father and siblings came from Japan for the ordination, as well as a group from the Ibaraki parish, led by Fr. Inoue. “Knowing that the Ibaraki parishioners are coming to my ordination is moving for me,” says Shohei. “Due to the persecutions, Ibaraki had many secret Catholics in the 16th to 19th centuries.”
And, referring to his father, he said: “I owe him a lot, because he is a man who loves freedom. Although he is an atheist and did not want me to convert, he always defended my freedom against some relatives who saw the conversion of my mother and me as a betrayal. My conversion was an even more serious issue as I was the eldest son. Nevertheless, my father always came to my defense. When I began to receive my first catechism lessons, he said to those who called it a betrayal: ‘Leave him alone, if the boy wants to convert, he will convert.’ My father’s respect for my freedom has been very important to me.”