GALILEE – On Sunday June 5th, a new priest, Fr. Matheus Brum Maciel, has been ordained for the Latin Patriarchate in the Seminary of Domus Galilaeae. Bishop Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, presided over the mass. Fr. Matheus is the 7th priest from the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Galilee, to be ordained.

There are moments in which the love of God becomes touchable to an entire liturgical assembly. Many can witness that one such moment took place this past Sunday June 5th, in the Church of the Domus Galilaeae, located on the Mount of Beatitudes, during the priestly ordination of a young Brazilian man from Paranà, named Matheus Brum Maciel.

Not by chance the dominant theme of that Sunday’s word was Christ who, moved by the widow of Nain’s suffering, raised her son from the dead. This was underscored by the main celebrant, Mons. William Shomali, auxiliary bishop and Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem for Latins, who stated: «From today on Matheus will be a minister of this mercy, and will bring the healing efficacy of the word and of the seven sacraments to many who are suffering, like the widow of Nain». In his closing remarks, the Bishop thanked the assembly for the fervor which characterized the entire liturgy. The participants included the newly ordained’s parents, Vitor and Silvana, who for the past twenty three years have been dedicating their lives to the evangelization in the Northeast of Brazil. Others in attendance were: Matheus’ brother Samuel, with a group of twentytwo of his countrymen, together with relatives and brothers of the local Neocatechumenal communities, who came expressly for the ordination.

The concelebrants included His Beatitude Ignace Pierre VIII Abdel-Ahad, the Patriarch emeritus of the Antiochene Church for Syrian Catholics, and a numerous presbyterium. Missionary zeal was the soul of the liturgy which took place in the Domus‘ Church, whose dedication to the twelve apostles and the seventytwo disciples is not a chance occurence. The itinerant teams responsible for the Neocatechumenal Way in the following countries were also in attendance: Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates and Brazil. Among those in attendance there were pastors and vicars from Galilee, Palestine and Jordan, together with the responsibles of the Neocatechumenal communities fo the Holy Land. There were also members of the two communities of Tarshiha, where Matheus follows his Neocatechumenal way, which is one of the pillars of his formation together with the preparation he received in the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Galilee.

Matheus’ peers, who are still preparing for the priesthood, also accompanied him in this momentous step, together with his formators, teachers, and Mons. Riccardo Ferri, who is a full professor of Trinitarian Theology at the Lateran University. The Chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate, Fr. George Ayoub, also concelebrated together with Fr. Pietro Felet, secretary general to the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, who showed particular care in his service as Master of Ceremonies.

Fr. Rino Rossi, director of the Domus Galilaeae, spoke very meaningful words in his introduction prior to the liturgy: «The Lord is leading us to experience the intimate life of the Church, which draws air from two lungs, as noted by many ecclesiastical writers, one ensures our love to Christ in the life of prayer and contemplation, and the other propels us to the mission ».

This image is a perfect fit for the Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary of Galilee. Matheus is in fact the seventh priest ordained since June 29th 2009, date in which Mons. Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, erected the seminary. It is thus a significant stage in the systole and diastole of this newfound zeal for the evangelization.

The seminarians hail from ten different countries, besides the Middle East (Israel, Jordan, Lebanon) and from various rites of the Catholic Church (Roman Catholic, Greek-Catholic and Maronite). They are formed to be open to all cultures, nations, peoples and Rites of the Church.

Seminarians and priests fom the seminary share in various missions and pastoral experiences in the parishes; among these are those catering to Catholics in the Emirates (Qatar and Bahrein), besides the ones in Israel, Palestine (Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bir Zeit, Bethlehem), Jordan and Cyprus.

Pierluigi Fornari, journalist for Avvenire and professor of philosophy at Studium Theologicum Galilaeae, in the Seminary.

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