Nuncio Ordains 34 Legionaries to Diaconate

25 Years After Approval of Congregation's Constitutions

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ROME, VATICAN CITY, JUNE 30, 2008 (Zenit.org).- When one puts Christ at the center of his life, he thinks and speaks of nothing other than him and his Kingdom, the apostolic nuncio to Italy told 34 candidates to the diaconate of the Legionaries of Christ.

Archbishop Giuseppe Bertello said this Sunday before ordaining the deacons in a liturgy held at the Center of Higher Studies of the Legionaries of Christ in Rome. The diaconate is the first of three ranks in the ordained ministry, and the last step for seminarians before being ordained to the priesthood.

"Jesus must be the center of our thoughts, the argument of our speech, and the model of our life," said Archbishop Bertello. "If we truly have this contact with our Lord, we will think of nothing other than his Kingdom, we will speak of nothing other than him and his Kingdom, and we will make our life an apostolate, giving ourselves totally to God.

"I am sure that each one of you has in his heart a spirit, a missionary ardor that is proper to your congregation."

Ranging in age from 29 to 35, the deacons hail from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Spain, the United States, France, Italy, Mexico and Venezuela.

An additional 15 Legionaries were ordained over the past few weeks in Mexico, the United States and Germany. Six more will be ordained in Medellin, Colombia; Milan, Italy and Dublin, Ireland. In total, 56 Legionaries will be ordained to the diaconate during this period.

Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the approval of the constitutions of the Legionaries of Christ. The congregation, founded in 1941 by Father Marcial Maciel, has 760 priests and over 2,500 seminarians.