Seminarians admitted to the Ministry of Lector and Acolyte
GALILEE -An event lived in the atmosphere of great joy and gratitude for the historical canonization of the two new Palestinian saints, is in short what characterized the Eucharistic celebration that took place Tuesday the 26th of May in the Church of the Domus Galilaeae.
At the heart of the celebration presided by Mgr. Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, a seminarian from Spain, Miguel Pérez Jiménez, received the Ministry of Lector while two other seminarians, Juan Manuel Silva Lopez from Colombia, and Matteo Piragnolo an Italian from Padua, both received the Ministry of Acolyte. The first two young men are being formed in the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Galilee to become priests who are to be both diocesan and missionary for the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The third candidate who was admitted to the Ministry of Acolyte is from the Redemptoris Mater of Lezha (Albania) and is staying this year in Galilee in order to finish his theological studies.
At the opening of the celebration, the rector of the seminary Fr. Francesco Giosuè Voltaggio, presented the assembly made up of various priests, religious, several family members, the catechists and persons responsible for the Way in Holy Land. In addition to these present, the brothers of the local Neocatechumenal Communities where the abovementioned seminarians take part in the Way (these brothers in fact came from Me’elia, Jaffa of Nazareth and ‘Ailaboun) participated in the celebration alongside the community of the Domus Galilaeae, the Domus Mamre (Jerusalem), and the Seminary.
The readings of the day were all the more fitting for such an occasion. The first reading taken from the Book of Ecclesiasticus proclaimed to us “Give to the Most High as he has given to you,
generously, according to your means. For the Lord is one who always repays, and he will give back to you sevenfold.” Then these wonderful words of Christ taken from Mark’s Gospel reverberated across the assembly as they proclaimed “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.” Such words are a source of great consolation and encouragement for these young men that having left their homeland, families and plans of life, then being carried by the “wind” of the Holy Spirit, felt the call made by Jesus Christ to follow him. In this way, they have made themselves willing candidates to be formed as priests at the service of the new evangelization.
A the outset of his homily Mgr. Marcuzzo stressed the importance of the truth and the sincerity needed in Christian life, against the temptation that we are put through today; that of living in superficiality and appearances. Secondly, borrowing from the Gospel of the day, he expounded on the beauty of leaving everything for the Kingdom of Heaven and for Jesus Christ, indicating that it is about a gradual road that even the Apostles had to learn to take. The memory of S. Philip Neri was also the occasion for his third point of remembering the “Saint of Joy” or better yet as he has been arduously called the “jester of God”. His persona, as Mgr. Marcuzzo puts it, sets at center stage an essential characteristic that we are all called to: the Joy of being Christians. Lastly, as an end and summary of the three points described in his homily, Mgr. Marcuzzo paused to reflect upon the two new local saints, S. Mariam Baouardy and S. Marie Alphonsine Danil Ghattas, commenting that the recent canonizations were truly exceptional events for the Church in Holy Land. The Bishop also moved on to underline the weaknesses of these saints, while at the same time placing weight on the Strength of God who has worked wonders amidst such weaknesses. Additionally, he then exhorted the present assembly to read the lives of the two saints. In the end, the bishop went on to reaffirm how everybody in their respective vocations is called to become a Saint since the universal vocation to sanctity is the prime vocation of the Christian.
A fraternal Agape with congratulating and joy-filled songs for the three seminarians followed the celebration.