Diocese in Mexico ordains 34 new priests

Priest Credit Martha Calderon CNA Martha Calderon/CNA.

On World Mission Sunday, October 18, the archbishop of Guadalajara ordained 34 new priests - including 33 diocesan and 1 religious priest - and 11 new deacons.

In his homily, Cardinal José Francisco Robles Ortega called the ordinations a "gift that the Spirit of the Risen Lord gives to the Church of Guadalajara and to the entire Universal Church."

The ordination Mass was offered at the Shrine of the Martyrs in the presence of a few faithful in order to observe coronavirus prevention protocols. The shrine is dedicated to the martyrs of the Mexican government's persecution of the Church that took place in the 1920s and '30s.

The image of Our Lady of Zapopan, patroness of the archdiocese, was brought to the shrine and placed on the main altar.

Robles explained in his homily that the ordinations were originally scheduled for Pentecost, but had be rescheduled due to pandemic.
He emphasized that "God wants all peoples to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth."

"God's will for salvation is not for a people, it's not for a group, it's not for a guild. The salvation that God offers is for all peoples and nations, for all races, languages and cultures," he said.

"We are all called to pass on, to bear witness and communicate the good news of salvation," he said. "In a special way, some of us are chosen by God to dedicate our entire life, all our energy, all our time and all our qualities in order to dedicate ourselves fully to the proclamation of the Gospel."

Robles said priests should be "dedicated full time specialists in evangelization."

The Sacrament of Holy Orders, he said, seals and marks new priests and deacons "by the Spirit of the Lord Jesus to be an apostle, a messenger and to evangelize full time."

The cardinal called on the newly ordained men "to go before, behind and in the middle of the sheep. That is the consecration that they have received."

He prayed that they might "hold fast to the greatness of his purpose and destiny, which is to make present the person and saving action of God in Jesus Christ that He wants for all peoples."

Robles and his predecessor, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, have both placed a heavy emphasis on encouraging vocations. In 2008, Sandoval called on parents not to obstruct their sons' vocations. In 2014, Robles ordained 48 new priests.

In his October 18 homily, Robles stressed that the gift of ordination is one that should be valued and safeguarded by the entire Church.

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