The Legionaries of Christ have announced the ordination of 32 new priests this year. These young men hail from Germany, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, El Salvador, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States.
On April 29th, 2023, 29 of the new priests will be ordained at the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, Italy at 10:00 am Rome time (4:00 am EST) in a Mass officiated by Cardinal Fernando Vérgez, LC, President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and the Vatican City Governorate.
Seven of the announced will return or are from the North American Territory.
Deacon Markus Stehmer, LC, from Cologne, Germany, will return to the North American Territory as Vocation Director in Philadelphia. Dcn. Stehmer, LC, will celebrate his first mass as a priest at Santa Agnese in Agone Catholic Church on April 30th, 2023.
Deacon. Thomas White, LC, from New Orleans, Louisiana, will return to the North American Territory as Dean of Formation at Oaklawn Academy in Edgerton, WI. Dcn. White, LC, will celebrate his first Mass as a priest at the Legionary Seminary Chapel on April 30th, 2023.
Deacon Christian Ivandic, LC, from Cologne, Germany, will return to the North American Territory to receive his Ph.D. at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. Dcn, Ivandic, LC will celebrate his first Mass as a priest at the Santa Maria dell” Anima Catholic Church on April 30th, 2023.
Deacon Luke Gill, LC, from Richmond, Virginia, will celebrate his first Mass as a priest at the San Paola Della Croce Catholic Church on April 30th, 2023.
Deacon Andre Blanchette, LC, from Quebec, Canada, will celebrate his first Mass as a priest at the San Salvatore Catholic Church on April 30th, 2023.
Deacon Matthew Bender, LC, from Steubenville, Ohio, will celebrate his first Mass as a priest at the General Directorate of the Legionaries Main Chapel on April 30th, 2023.
Deacon Stephen Cho, LC, from Seoul, South Korea, will celebrate his first Mass as a priest at the Korean College of Rome on April 29th, 2023.
This priesthood has a specific charism shared with the other vocations of Regnum Christi and lived out in a way particular to the Congregation. Number 110 of their Constitutions shares characteristics of the priestly ministry of the Legionaries of Christ:
They should live their religious and priestly consecration with fidelity and authenticity, rooted in a passionate love for Christ, being like him obedient to the point to death (see Philippians 2:5-8), and so glorify the Father, and build up the Kingdom of Christ, the Congregation, and Regnum Christi;
They should keep in mind that their principal mission is to be eminently priestly, administering the sacraments, preaching the Word of God, and serving Christ in their brothers.
(Constitutions of the Legionaries of Christ 110, §2-4)
As a Congregation of Pontifical Rite, the newly ordained priests will be sent out to various locations globally as missionaries to the people of today’s world. In their ministry, they will exercise their “mission of forming apostles, Christian leaders at the service of the Church,” as explained in number 4 of their constitutions, which continues, “Legionaries make present the mystery of Christ gathering the Apostles around him, revealing to them the love of his heart, forming them and sending them out to collaborate with him in building up his Kingdom.”
The Legionaries of Christ, who are members of Regnum Christi along with other lay consecrated men, consecrated women, and lay members, spend an average of 12 to 14 years in formation before reaching the moment of their ordination. During these years, they prayerfully discern the vocation God has in mind for them. They are educated in the Humanities, Philosophy, Theology, and through apostolic internships in different countries around the world. The map of the Legionaries’ formative journey as a congregation is contained in a document called the Ratio Institutionis, entitled “Christus vita vestra.”
As of the end of 2021, The Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ, which is part of Regnum Christi, is present in 24 countries and is made up of 1,385 members: 979 priests, 329 religious in formation, 73 novices, four bishops, and one cardinal.
All are warmly invited to join us for the live broadcast of the Ordination Mass on Saturday, April 29th, at 10:00 am Rome time (4:00 am EST, 1:00 am PST) here.
Please visit the international site to learn more about the international event and previous ordinations.
All photos of the 2023 Ordination will be found here.
To learn more about the Ordinands, please click here.