Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The path is tiring but "ordinations open the way to hope"


Forty-nine Legionary priests were ordained by Cardinal Velasio De Paolis this December 12 in the Basilica of St. John Lateran. The ceremony is recorded in this video.

After expressing his gratitude to the Legionaries families for regarding their son’s vocation as a gift, Cardinal De Paolis emphasized that the ordination of 49 new priests is “a reason for consolation on the path of rediscovering the congregation’s mission. The path is at times tiring, but you are walking it with trust in the Church.” “This moment is one of consolation for the Legion. These vocations open the way to hope and make us look to the future,” he said.

Among the 49 newly ordained Legionaries of Christ, the youngest is 29, and the oldest is 35. The new priests come from seven countries: the United States (15), México (20), Brazil (5), Colombia (5), Italy (2), Spain (1), and Hungary (1). 

A balanced "Unpopular Opinion"


During the past several months I have been extremely busy -  too busy to find time to post here. Meanwhile, I've tried to keep abreast of the ongoing reform at the Legionaries of Christ. So far, so good. There is encouraging progress.

Today I stumbled on a blog written by Seminarian Philip Johnson. It's called "In Caritate non Ficta". After serving three years as a Naval Officer, in October of 2008, he was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. His blog chronicles his pilgrimage through life and towards the Roman Catholic priesthood. He hopes to be ordained a priest in 2015. The little I know about him suggests he is an inspiring young man.

The post which caught my attention is titled "Possibly Unpopular Opinion of the Year."  I enjoyed reading it and although I agree the opinion he expresses may be unpopular with some, I find myself in agreement with most of what he has to say. As we approach the Christmas season, I'd like to echo Philp's comments about the current situation with the Legionaries of Christ. He seems to know them quite well. 

Philip is obviously a brave, unselfish and thoughtful young man dealing with the challenge of an awful illness. He believes in miracles. Read his blog and say a prayer that he gets his miracle.  Here is sample of what he has to say about the Legionaries he knows:

"I have friends who are Legionaries, and they love their vocation. ... I have stayed for a lengthy time in Legionary houses and seminaries in Connecticut, New York, and Rome. I have also attended their retreats. They are not "brainwashed," "pressured" or anything else. Many people make this judgment without getting to know the men involved. They are there following the Lord's calling and I pray that someday I will have half the zeal for souls that they have. They are all suffering as their Constitutions are revised and necessary changes are made, but let's pray for them. They are good men, especially the ones who have stuck around during the recent trials ...
I believe that the Legion of Christ will survive this storm. It's a miracle that they've survived this long and still have so many vocations - and they are solid vocations, trust me. The Lord can bring good things out of bad situations, and He often does. I don't doubt that this will be another example. We must pray! Can you image how they must feel - those who have chosen to stay with the movement awaiting the Holy Father's ruling? There is turmoil in their family - let us empathize with them. They are our brothers, and they are suffering right now. Please stop now and say a prayer for them."

To which I add a hearty "Amen."