35 Deacons Ordained for Opus Dei

ROME, NOV. 8, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Opus Dei is welcoming 35 new deacons who were ordained by the prelate of the personal prelature, Bishop Javier Echevarría, on Saturday.

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The ordination Mass was held at the Basilica of St. Eugene in Rome, where the deacons will be ordained priests in six months.

The group hails from more than a dozen countries, including Kenya, Spain, Switzerland and the Philippines.

«An essential basic condition for the efficacy of any ecclesial ministry , and also for every Christian existence is an intense life of prayer,» Bishop Echevarría said in his homily. «Today more than ever, when we are absorbed by so many activities and commitments, it is necessary to find concrete moments to speak with God.»

He exhorted the ordinands to remember that the sacrament of confession «is another way of praying, because God’s forgiveness helps to pray in peace.»

Janvier Mahougnon Gbenou, 31, is one of the youngest of the group. He hails from Benin, where Benedict XVI will be visiting in less than two weeks.

To the question, «Are you afraid to be ordained a priest?» Gbenou answered: «No, no, on the contrary. I have three reasons to feel sure. The first is knowing that the prayer of many Christians helps me. The second is that, once ordained, my task will be to transmit the grace and message of Christ. To transmit, not to invent or improvise. What I will give is not mine but Christ’s. Finally, I feel secure because I know I am in the hands of the Virgin Mary, Mother of all priests.»

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