Andrea, Giuseppe and Ambrozie ordained deacons
They were ordained in Spain on 4 February in the parish of San Francisco de Borja (Madrid) together with 9 other companions.
The ordained come from 7 countries: Spain, France, India, Malaysia, Thailand, two from Italy – Andrea Bonavita and Giuseppe La Mela – and one from Romania, Ambrozie Mengheris.
“My vocation is rooted in a call to the priesthood which I experienced when I was 14 and which I accepted only many years later, thanks to the Spiritual Exercises,” Andrea, aged 47, who is in Madrid to complete his theology studies writes. “The diaconate is an important step, an opportunity to better serve and accompany others”.
“Two things attracted me to the Society: the life of Ignatius and the Jesuits,” Joseph, aged 42 says. “Ignatius was not content with mediocrity. He was capable of an impressive passion. He had failed many times but learnt to listen to the voice of the Lord who guided him, albeit his failures. The Jesuits I met were authentic, genuine and passionate people, mature men, normal and full of flaws, but deeply in love with Christ and the world. Hanging out with them made me realise that I also wanted to be like that. If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would become a Jesuit, a deacon and then a priest, I would have laughed out loud. I started to frequent the Jesuits in 2012 and, without realising it, an unexpected desire was awakening in me. The thought of joining the Society made me feel at home. I joined in 2014, I have changed 4 cities in 9 years. But since that October 2014 I have always been at home. As a deacon the best I can offer is my experience of being forgiven, welcomed and loved by Christ, so that others can do the same.”
For Ambrozie, aged 23, the Spiritual Exercises were also an important moment for vocational discernment. “During these years, realising the mysterious way in which the Lord acts in my life and in the lives of others, seeing how he builds great projects on our frailties and experiencing the forgiveness of a merciful God who loves unconditionally, has strengthened my faith and confirmed my vocation. Ordination is a gift for which I am truly grateful.
Five words for mission
Cardinal Carlos Osoro Sierra, Archbishop of Madrid, Monsignor Hugo Manuel Salaberry SJ, Bishop of Azul (Argentina), Provincial Antonio España SJ, the Provincials of the French speaking provinces of Western Europe (EOF), the Provincial of Malaysia, and the Regional Superior of Thailand, Miguel Garaizabal SJ, a Jesuit of Spanish origin concelebrated.
In his homily, the Archbishop of Madrid delivered five words for their mission: joy, liberation, light, healing and wonder. Joy “because faith is a wonderful love story to be shared”; liberation because “those who proclaim God do not only preach, they must lighten burdens, and alleviate, not impose burdens”; light “that makes us see life in a new way” and that is the light of filiation, of knowing that we are children and of fraternity, of knowing that we are brothers and sisters; and healing because “no medicine or human remedy can heal like Jesus Christ”.