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GALILEE – On Saturday, June 10, 2017, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator ordained two new priests for the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem at Domus Galilaeae:  Giovanni Falorni, Italian, and Juan Manuel Silva Lopez, Colombian. 

Concelebrants were Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar in Israel, and Archbishop Flavio Calle Zapata of the Archdiocese of Ibagué (Colombia), the hometown of Juan Manuel; and many priests of the Latin Patriarchate. Several men and women religious from Galilee were also present for the occasion.

Many came: invited guests from Italy and Colombia (including catechists and Neocatechumenal communities of the candidates’origin), the rector and some seminarians of the Patriarchate Seminary in Beit Jala, the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Galilee, the Neocatechumenal communities of the Holy Land, the brothers of the Domus Galilaeae and of the Domus Mamre of Jerusalem, and also a number of faithful and priests from the parishes where the new priests have served during their formation,

In his homily, Archbishop Pizzaballa encouraged Giovanni and Juan Manuel to live their new mission unreservedly by communicating the love of God in the same measure that Christ loved us: giving of himself, and remaining faithful to the mission the Father entrusted to him until the end. The Archbishop began his homily by saying: “An excerpt was chosen for the liturgy of today’s celebration, to make us understand the meaning of the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, summarized by the word ‘Love’. God, in fact, did not create the world and then let it to fend for itself, but instead incarnated Himself in the world to accompany us and to be with us always. God’s love, he said, “is a total love, for which He has completely annihilated His own self to be part of us. This giving of Himself is eternal: God made Himself part of us and wants us to be part of Him and wanting nothing in return!”  Addressing the new priests, the Archbishop added; “You are here because you have experienced this love. As priests, you are called to communicate this experience, to communicate His love (…). You have given up having a family, wife and children, but this does not mean that you are sterile because you are called to a life full of love, and where there is love there is life (…). It takes great freedom to do this.”  In conclusion, Archbishop Pizzaballa invited the neo-presbyters to “remain fully integrated in God’s self-giving, which is complete, total, irrevocable, without conditions, without seeking personal gratification”, in as much as: “Your life must be filled with the life of God and you will cultivate God’s life if you continue to be on bent knees.”

The Eucharistic celebration was followed by rejoicing when everyone expressed with exuberance and simplicity the joy for these new priests donated to the Church.

As we thank the Lord for having completed His work in John and Juan Manuel, as the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Galilee community is preparing for another joyful event.  On June 23, Deacon Rody Noura will be ordained priest for the Maronite Catholic Archeparchy of Haifa and the Holy Land. For seven years, Giovanni, Juan Manuel, and Rody were brothers in the seminary and now will be brothers in the ministry, at the service of the Church and the new evangelization, and for the greater glory of God.

M.T.B.

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