Six called to serve God’s people

By 
  • May 22, 2007

{mosimage}TORONTO - Six men were ordained to the priesthood at St. Michael’s Cathedral May 12 for service in the archdiocese of Toronto.

“It’s wonderful. I love ordinations,” said Archbishop Thomas Collins, who presided at his first ordination ceremony in his new archdiocese as he ordained Jorge Aviles, Ivan Camilleri, Leo Llames, Jorge Lopez, Ignacio Pinedo and Giuseppe Scollo.

The archbishop’s guiding message in his homily was taken from the title of the book The Priest is Not His Own, written by the late American Bishop Fulton Sheen.

“We are called to be priests of Jesus Christ and to serve God’s people,” said Collins.

“There should be no egoism, no private agenda.”

Priests are “to be examples to the flock and not lord (their priesthood) over them.”

“The Lord picks very human, frail people to show how much we are in need of the mercy of the Lord,” said Collins.

Collins stressed that these new priests need to lead a repentant life, going to Confession regularly, in order to humbly serve as instruments of God’s grace.

Four out of the six men studied at Redemptoris Mater Seminary located on the grounds of St. Augustine’s Seminary and run by the international lay movement the Neocatechumenal Way. Aviles, Llames, Lopez and Scollo are ordained to serve anywhere worldwide at the discretion of the local bishop of the diocese where they were ordained. For now, Collins has decided they will all serve in the archdiocese of Toronto.

“I’m very grateful to the seminarians who have come from around the world to serve in our diocese,” said Collins.

In the past four years four other men belonging to the Neocatechumenal Way have been ordained in the archdiocese of Toronto after their formation at Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

After the ceremony the newly ordained gathered for pictures and family and friends asked for blessings.

“I feel great, “said Aviles, 34. “All the tension before the ordination (is gone).”

“I’m walking on a cloud,” said Pinedo, 47. “I’m humbled, like the bishop said, it’s such a privilege. It’s a great feeling. A sense of accomplishment, but also a sense of new beginning.”

In an attempt to reach out to other possible vocations in the archdiocese prior to the ordination the archdiocesan vocation office invited men discerning the priesthood to a breakfast with an informal discussion led by the archbishop at the Marriott Hotel. Seminarians, men in discernment and participants from the archdiocesan Called by Name vocations program attended.

While there are 70 seminarians in various stages of priestly formation in the archdiocese, Fr. Liborio Amaral, Toronto’s vocations director, said he is in contact with 80 more men who are discerning to join the seminary.

It is unlikely all these men will be ordained priests one day. But Amaral said seminary life offers clarity about one’s proper vocation.

“Either (the seminarian) is to be ordained a priest or he is to find another vocation. Both are worthy responses at a seminary,” said Amaral.

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