On Saturday, 31 new Opus Dei priests were ordained by Bishop Javier Echevarría, head of the Prelature, at the Basilica of San Eugenio in Rome.
The newly ordained priests hailed from such countries as United Kingdom, Nigeria, Peru, Argentina, Venezuela, Spain, Mexico, Japan, El Salvador, the Philippines, Germany, Kenya and Benin.
According to a press release sent by Opus Dei, Bishop Echevarría invited the new priests to think only of the souls entrusted to their pastoral care. A priest who rarely comes out of himself, risks becoming a manager rather than a mediator. “This cannot be so, because the priest is the mediator between God and man in Jesus Christ, so that the divine grace enlivens everything.”
Bishop Echevarría also mentioned the words of St. Josemaria’s, referring to the ordination of the faithful of Opus Dei: “You will be ordained to serve. Not to command, not to shine, but to give of yourselves in endless and divine silence, at the service of all souls. “
The Bishop pointed out that the task of mediating as a priest “is of a grandeur that is compatible with our smallness: the Lord entrusted to us these gifts so we can guide the souls to eternal life.” Bishop Echevarría also called on the thousands of participants at the ordination to pray for all priests
“Let us pray with St. Josemaría that for all priests, ‘the grace to perform holy things, to reflect, also in our own lives, the wonders of the greatness of the Lord’. A good way to achieve this goal is to love more and more each day the Sacred Host. “
Among the newly ordained, Javier Mahougnon Gbenou, was the first priest from Benin to be ordained in Opus Dei, a ministry, he says, he faces without fear. He points out three reasons for this fearlessness.
“The first thing to know that the prayers of many Christians helps me. The second is that, once ordained, my task will be to convey the grace and the message of Christ. Transmit and not to invent or improvise. What I will give is not mine, but Christ’s. Finally, I feel safe because I know I am in the hands of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of all priests. “