JERUSALEM – On May 21st, 2023, His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, presided over the ordination of seven new deacons from the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor, in the church of Saint Savior.
They are from Syria, Italy, the Philippines, Mozambique, South Africa and Peru. Four of them are from the Custody of the Holy Land, while others come from the Custody of Saint Clare of Assisi (Mozambique), Our Lady Queen of Peace (South Africa), and the Missionaries of Saint Francis (Peru). Yesterday evening, Br. George, Br. Johnny, Br. Lorenzo, Br. Mark, Br. Joaquim, Br. Diphapang and Br. Robert were ordained deacons in the Franciscan church of Saint Savior by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, in the presence of Mgr Adolfo Tito Yllana, Apostolic Nuncio to the Holy Land.
During his homily, Mgr Pizzaballa reminded the young friars the essence of the diaconate and priesthood; to be at the service of others, and to draw their glory from God and not from the world, a glory that is not about power or success or money, but about giving everything to others – just like Saint Francis of Assis. Urging them to keep in mind that their consecration did not turn them into “special persons, superiors, masters”, he also told them to remember that they are “only serving the Kingdom”, and that they are not “possessors of the Word of God, […] but only servants, that is to say, those who help to spread and to love it, and nothing else. […] Let the Eucharist, which celebrates the death and resurrection of Christ, his total gift of self, be the center of your ministry, on the altar and in life.”
The celebration was followed by speeches of thanks from one of the newly ordained on behalf of all the others and by Fr. Ibrahim Faltas, Vicar of the Custody of the Holy Land. Both thanked God for these seven new deacons who have joined the ranks of the Church, as well as the families for their support, and the formators, celebrants and faithful who attended the celebration or followed it from abroad. For the occasion, after the end of the Mass, the scouts performed in the courtyard of the Custody, in front of the assembly.