Pope Calls Priest to ‘Ask Him the Favor’ of Preaching Spiritual Exercises to Curia

Father Ermes Maria Ronchi is a theologian of the Order of the Servants of Mary

St. Peter's Square


Father Ermes Maria Ronchi, priest and theologian of the Order of the Servants of Mary, will preach the Spiritual Exercises of Pope Francis and of the Curia, which will be held in Ariccia from Sunday, March 6, after the Angelus, to Saturday, March 12, said Father Ronchi himself to Il Messaggero Veneto.

The priest explained that the Pontiff called to ask him the “favor”: “The Pope’s call came to me as a surprise. My first reaction was one of astonishment, of emotion. When he said that he had to ask me for a favor, I didn’t hesitate to answer ‘but of course, tell me, whatever you need …’ Then when he said that he wanted to invite me to organize some meetings of reflection, I tried to evade the question and answered that I wasn’t sure I was the appropriate person, who would be up to the task he was suggesting.”

Born in Racchiuso de Attimis on August 16, 1947, Ronchi was ordained a priest in 1973. That same year, together with other Religious, he created an experimental community in the province of Vicenza (transferred later to Casale Monferrato). From 1991 to 1994 he was in the community of the Servants of Mary in Verona. In 1994, after six months of refresher studies in Paris, he went to Milan, where at present he carries out several activities in Saint Charles church, directing the Corsia Cultural Center of the Servants, founded by David Maria Turoldo.

He wrote the texts of reflection for the Vigil of 500,000 young people in the National Meeting of Young People in 2007. He is Professor of Theological Aesthetics and Iconography at the “Marianum” Pontifical Theological Faculty of Rome. On September 11, 2012, he was appointed parish priest of Saint Charles church in Milan. He is the author of numerous books on biblical and spiritual subjects. In addition, he collaborates with several media, among which is Avvenire (periodical of the Italian Episcopal Conference).

He directed the section “The Reasons for Hope” in the television program of Catholic culture. Characteristic of his direction was the association of the commentary of the Gospel with the visit to a community of religious inspiration and the reading of a devotional poem at the end of the program.

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