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Schoenstatt
Apostolic Movement

Three New Schoenstatt Priests for the Church

By: Manuel José Lorca Castelblanco

It was a very joyful, intimate celebration with family and friends….

On Saturday, August 28th, three new Chilean priests from the Community of the Schoenstatt Fathers were ordained. They are Fathers Joaquín Lobos, Sebastián Espinoza, and Sergio Abarca. They were ordained by Monsignor Alberto Lorenzelli, Auxiliary Bishop of Santiago. It was a very joyful and intimate celebration with family and friends, in which we were able to rejoice and celebrate, accompanying these brothers when they received this great gift and began their priestly ministry.

One of the peculiarities of this ordination had to do with the current context of pandemic that we are still experiencing. The celebration was able to take place after four attempts at possible dates. Also, unlike other ordinations, it was held at the Father Joseph Kentenich College, the seminary of the Schoenstatt Fathers in Chile, where they themselves were formed and lived for so many years. One of them expressed that it was a gift to be able to be ordained in a place that had meant so much to him and where he felt at home.

 

The newly ordained priests want to give the gift of Jesus, the friend, who shares his life with us.

During the entrance procession, the choir sang: “I will sing forever of your goodness, Lord, and I will celebrate your creative embrace.” Is this not the priesthood? To proclaim forever God’s goodness and love, to always be his priests, and to celebrate in every sacrament and Eucharist his creative embrace of abundant life for all men and women. To celebrate his proximity and friendship, as the passage they chose for this day says: “You are my friends” (Jn 15:14). In their thanksgiving, the newly ordained priests emphasized the image of Jesus that they want to portray; Jesus, the friend who shares life with us and goes to our encounter to give us the joy of living with Him, for Him, and in Him for the sake of others.

While imploring all the Godly saints in the litany, the ordained prostrated themselves face down as a sign of humbleness and detachment. A special nicety that day, which was cloudy, was that, while they were singing, the sun came out. It was as if God, together with all his saints, was blessing them with his light and warmth, bestowing them with his presence and the outpouring of his Spirit on that special day, when they said Yes to him forever.

Their priesthood: a gift for everyone, for Schoenstatt, the Church, and the world.

In the final acknowledgements, reference was made to all the people and places that had made an impact on the life and journey of these brothers of ours, those that had been an important part of their path to the priesthood. Many of them could not be physically present, some of them had already departed to the Father’s House. All of them were included within that ray of sunshine, the ones who were present as well as those who used to be, those who will come and those who will be entrusted to them.

The family of the Church in heaven and on earth was celebrating that day, it was filled with joy as it witnessed this undeserved gift that our brothers received, which ultimately is a gift for everyone, for Schoenstatt, the Church, and the world. A gift from God, a gift of love, joy, and friendship. Because friendship is precisely that, a gift, a giving of oneself. And what greater friendship than that of Christ! He who gave his life so that we could be saved and be his friends forever.

 

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