Ukraine: 3 Priests and 2 Deacons Ordained at Redemptoris Mater Seminary Amid War

The ordination ceremony took place at the Cathedral of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Uzhgorod.

Editorial (06/19/2024 09:50, Gaudium Press) Although Uzhgorod is not a battleground, anguish is a palpable reality. Many individuals have sought refuge in the area, fleeing from other regions of Ukraine, while others have been called to the front, as mentioned by Father Francesco Andolfatto, rector of the Redemptoris Mater missionary eparchial seminary, in an interview with Vatican News.

In this place marked by pain, a moment of joy was manifested with the ordination of three priests and two deacons on June 8, at the Greek-Catholic Cathedral of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

The three new priests are: Andrii Stebivka from Uzhgorod, Viktor Bodnar from Vinnitsa, and João Miguel Perozzi Jorge from Brazil. Meanwhile, Vitalii Fedynyshynets from Uzhgorod and Julio Rafael García Maldonado from Honduras were ordained deacons.

Hope Blooms Amidst War

Father Andolfatto comments on the joy that these ordinations bring, considering that these young men are among the first to enter the seminary 11 years ago, in 2013. “It is a great joy, in this time of war, to see the Church advancing, continuing, and rejuvenating. And it is a sign of hope to send young people on a pastoral mission and to be here, among the people, amid the great tension felt due to the war.”

The new priests will remain in the parish in the diocese of Mukachevo for which they were ordained. However, in 2 or 3 years, or perhaps more, they will certainly go on missions, as “our Seminary prepares for evangelization around the world.”

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These young men, from diverse geographical backgrounds, were all ordained according to the Byzantine Catholic rite and incardinated in the Greek-Catholic Eparchy of Mukachevo, which covers the Transcarpathia region, with Uzhhorod as its capital.

“The mission at this moment in Uzhgorod,” highlights the priest, “is to keep alive the presence of a Church that does not abandon people, bringing them the Word of God, a word of reconciliation, forgiveness, and the presence of the Lord. Our presence here has been very important: many stayed because we also stayed.”

With information from Vatican News.

Compiled by Gustavo Kralj

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