48 Legionaries of Christ Ordained

12 New Priests From U.S.

ROME, DEC. 23, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Forty-eight religious from the Legion of Christ were ordained to the priesthood Saturday in Rome.

Archbishop Luigi de Magistris, retired pro-major penitentiary, celebrated Saturday’s ordination Mass in the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

In addition to 12 new priests from the United States, the Legion of Christ’s first priests from Singapore and El Salvador were also ordained. The group also included 19 from Mexico, eight from Spain, four from Brazil, and one each from Chile, France and Germany.

A delegation came from Ivory Coast, the first African country where the Regnum Christi Movement is present. Regnum Christi is the lay apostolic movement associated with the Legionaries of Christ.

Deacon Rafael Lara, father of one of the new priests, Father Paul Lara, read the Gospel. Six months ago in the United States, father and son were ordained to the diaconate together — the father as a permanent deacon.

In his homily, Archbishop de Magistris, 81, spoke from his long experience as a priest: “Always be ministers of the truth; to be a priest of Christ is to be a priest of the Church, with the Church, and for the Church. As ministers of forgiveness, never say ‘no’ to someone who asks you for the sacrament of confession. Celebrate the Eucharist as if it were the first and the last time of your life.”

He cited a text from a letter of the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Father Marcial Maciel: “Unite yourself to Mary and your priesthood will never be without fruit.”