BEITJALA – On Friday, June 16th, 2023, the diocese of Jerusalem rejoiced as the Seminarian Basel Hanna Baransi joined the ranks of the deacons of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
At the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the diaconal ordination took place in the Annunciation Church, next to the Patriarchal Seminary of Beit Jala, presided over by His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, and concelebrated by Mgr Rafic Nahra, Patriarchal Vicar for Israel, Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, bishop emeritus, as well as several LPJ priests and Franciscan priests. In the presence of the family of Basel, the parish priest of Reneh, Fr. Raed Abu Sahlyeh, religious sisters, and a great number of faithful.
The choir of the parish of Aboud, Zababdeh, Beirzeit, and Beitsahour filled the Church with hymns of worship and praise unto God, as the ordination rite began.
“The Lord has consecrated you for Him, and you consecrated your life to the Lord,” said Mgr Pizzaballa, in his homily. “To be consecrated means that God set you part, and this is first and foremost God’s choice. He separated you to go to the people, but you will always be set apart from the people”. The first reading presented God’s desire to have a holy nation consecrated to Him (Dt 7:6-11), likewise “You are no longer living for yourself, your life and identity should be found in Christ”.
“Today, the Catholic Church celebrates Love by celebrating the Sacred Heart of Jesus,” Mgr Pizzaballa noted. “Love is not based on emotions, but it’s a life laid down. This is the second point I would like to share with you,” he expressed. “Your life is a gift unto God, and the only way to gift your life to God is by serving the people because your love for God shines through your service to His people.”
“Remain little, remain a servant”, were the last remarks shared by His Beatitude.
After Basel professed the three deaconal promises of celibacy, prayer, and obedience. He prostrated himself in humble submission, in front of the altar, and asked together with the assembly of the faithful for the intercession of all the Saints as he walked into the new diaconate ministry. Then, the prayer of Consecration was said by His Beatitude, asking for the Holy Spirit to fill him and strengthen him, to carry out the works of this ministry faithfully. Fr. Bernard Poggi, Rector of the Latin Patriarchal Seminary of Beit Jala, vested the new deacon, followed by the handing of the Book of the Gospels by the Patriarch with the accompanying words: “Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.”
The ordination rite was then sealed with a greeting of peace exchanged between the Patriarch and the new deacon who will be serving the Church and preparing for his priestly ordination.
“A priest is like a shepherd who leads his flock to the right places to graze and drink; except that he offers his faithful not grass and water as food, but the Word and teachings of God. As a future priest, this is my objective,” said the newly ordained deacon, Basel Baransi in an interview with the LPJ media office team.