SPAIN, March 25, 2014 — Three Filipinos were among the fourteen deacons ordained by Archbishop Celso Morga, Secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy, at San Nicolas Parish Church, Pamplona City, Spain, last March 22, 2014.
“May you be deacons of mercy” read part of Pope Francis’s message to the newly-ordained deacons, which included Rev. Dennis Ordillos (Archdiocese of Tuguegarao), Rev. Jan Raymond Ramos (Archdiocese of Palo), and Rev. Mark Anthony Cayago (Diocese of Legazpi).
In the said message, which was read by Don Miguel Angel Marco, rector of the Colegio Eclesiastico Internacional Bidasoa, the Holy Father urged the deacons to accompany the poor and the marginalized as they preach the Word, serve the people of God, and assist their bishops and priests.
In a moving ceremony, participated in by the faithful and clergy of the Archdiocese of Pamplona, members of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, student-priests, benefactors, and family and friends of the ordinandi coming from six countries, Archbishop Morga emphasized in his homily that the root and center of the diaconal ministry is the loving relationship with Christ. He reminded them that without this the diaconal ministry will be fruitless and useless.
The diaconal ordination was also followed by viewers from different countries via live streaming. The deacons received their ecclesiastical formation at the Colegio Eclesiastico Internacional Bidasoa and their theological formation at the Ecclesiastical Faculty of the University of Navarre. Both institutions are directed by the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei in Navarra, Spain. This ordination is another success for Colegio Eclesiastico Internacional Bidasoa, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
Through the “Formation for Seminary Formators of the Local Church” project of the Theological Centrum and the Studium Theologiae Foundation based in the Philippines, seminarians and priests from the Philippines are able to enjoy specialized formation in the Faculties of Theology of the University of Navarre (in Pamplona, Spain) and the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (in Rome). The three Filipinos arrived in Spain in 2009 and will be back to the Philippines this year to serve their respective dioceses. (Fr. Dedert Duarte)