JERUSALEM – On Thursday, June 29, 2017, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate ordained Franciscan Friars: two as Priests and three Deacons at St. Saviour Church in Jerusalem.
On the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the Custody of the Holy Land celebrated the ordinations of Friars Gilberto Hernandez and Luis Rodriguez to the Priesthood, while Friars Ayman Bathish, Jorge Barba and Oscar Alvarado were ordained Deacons.
The Apostolic Administrator was the main celebrant of the Holy Mass, concelebrated by Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, Apostolic Delegate and Nuncio; Rev. Fr. Francesco Patton,ofm, Custos of the Holy Land; and a large number of priests. Also present for the celebration was Bishop Emeritus Kamal Bathish, parishioners, men and women religious, families and friends of the newly ordained Friars.
In his homily, Archbishop Pizzaballa expressed his joy at the ordination of the five Friars whom he had accompanied himself in their vocation within the Oder of Friars Minor and during their formation years in the Holy Land. Reflecting on the Gospel of Matthew as Jesus asks his disciples the question: “Who am I for the people? Who am I for you?“ In this context Jesus addresses the questions and engages them in a dialogue. “The answers may be incomplete or imperfect, but if it is within a dialogue it will still be a true answer, born of friendship. Your ordination as deacons and priests is a call to speak to people about Jesus. The way you speak about Jesus will express what you have already proclaimed with your religious profession. People will not expect to simply hear from you about Jesus, but to understand from your life your desire for Him and to follow Him… Becoming deacons and priests means that life is a dialogue, a relationship, and from that relationship, becomes a dialogue that brings about mutual knowledge of one another.”