Cardinal De Paolis ordains 49 priests for Legion of Christ
Cardinal DePaolis (center) with the 49 new priests for the Legionaries of Christ in St. John Lateran on Dec. 12. Credit: Legionaries of Christ
Cardinal DePaolis (center) with the 49 new priests for the Legionaries of Christ in St. John Lateran on Dec. 12. Credit: Legionaries of Christ

.- Cardinal Velasio De Paolis ordained 50 priests, including 49 priests for the Legionaries of Christ, on Dec. 12 at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome.

Fifteen of the new priests come from the United States, while 20 come from Mexico and five each from Brazil and Colombia.

About 2,000 people attended the ordination, including parents, relatives, friends and members of the Legionaries of Christ, the Regnum Christi Movement, and the Somascan Fathers.

Fr. Pablo Galvan, a member of the Somascan Fathers, was the one non-Legionary priest ordained on Monday. His brother, Marcos Galvan, was one of the Legionaries ordained at the same Mass.

Three pairs of brothers were ordained, including Frs. Jason and Michael Mitchell from western Pennsylvania.

Fr. Roberto Carlos Lazalde of Durango, Mexico dreamed of being a professional soccer player and played for the minor league Cruz Azul team. Instead of pursuing his dream further, he decided to become a priest.

Another new priest, Fr. José Guadalupe Padua, had already received his master’s in law when, during Bl. John Paul II’s 1999 visit to Mexico City, his eyes met those of the Pope. He said the experience changed his life.

The youngest of the new priests is 29 and the oldest is 35.

The priests tell the stories of their various paths to the priesthood in a new multilingual book “Witness of God’s Gift,” known in Spanish as “Dios lo da todo.”

The Legionaries now have over 900 priests in 20 countries.

Cardinal De Paolis is the papal delegate to the Legionaries of Christ. He is overseeing the reform of the congregation since revelations that its founder Fr. Marcel Maciel led a double life and committed serious sins.

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