Pope ordains new priests, tells them to spread Gospel joy

>> Monday, April 28, 2008

Pope ordains new priests, tells them to spread Gospel joy

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI ordained 29 new priests, including an Iraqi, and told them their mission was to spread Gospel joy.

"To be collaborators in the joy of others in a world that often is sad and negative, the fire of the Gospel must burn within you, the joy of the Lord must dwell within you," the pope said April 27 at the ordination Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.

Twenty-eight of the new priests were ordained for the Diocese of Rome; the group consisted of 22 Italians and men from France, Haiti, Paraguay, Colombia, Chile and India.

The 29th ordinand was Father Jarjis Robert Sayd, 34, a Baghdad native who will serve the church in Iraq.

Reciting the "Regina Coeli" prayer after Mass with visitors in St. Peter's Square, the pope said that where Christ is preached with the strength of the Holy Spirit and welcomed with open hearts "society, even if it is full of many problems, becomes a 'city of joy.'"

He said the joy and hope that flows from the Gospel is the message he carried with him to the United States April 15-20.

"I thank God because he richly blessed this unique missionary experience of mine, and he allowed me to be an instrument of Christ's hope for that church and that country," he said.

"At the same time, I give thanks because I myself was confirmed in hope by American Catholics; in fact, I found a great vitality and a decisive will to live and witness to faith in Jesus," the pope said.

During the ordination Mass, Pope Benedict asked the new priests to "accept with faith and with love" the prayer of the church and the action of the Holy Spirit making them special participants in the priesthood of Christ.

The pope asked them to let faith and love "impress themselves on your hearts; let them accompany you along the journey of your entire existence."

"Remain faithful to the love of Christ and you will notice with an ever-new joy how his divine word will journey with you and grow in you," the pope told them.

Pope Benedict said they must cultivate "a personal relationship of love" with Christ, giving him the first and greatest place in their lives and allowing that love "to purify, enlighten and sanctify" all their other relationships.

He told them their task was to bring hope and forgiveness to their parishioners, to increase holiness in the church, to help nonbelievers open themselves to God, and to bring peace and comfort to those who are suffering.

"Dear friends, this is your mission: to bring the Gospel to all so that all will experience the joy of Christ and so that there will be joy in every city," he said.


URL: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0802354.htm


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