Zaitzkofen: Ordinations to the Diaconate and the Priesthood – June 24, 2023

June 28, 2023

Saturday, June 24, on the feast of St. John the Baptist, in magnificent weather, two deacons and two priests were ordained by Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta in the park of the Zaitzkofen chateau, seat of the Herz-Jesu (Sacred Heart) Seminary.

The two deacons are from Russia and Austria, and the two new priests from Poland and Ukraine. The latter belongs to the Fraternity of St. Josaphat, a union of Ukrainian Greek-Catholic priests who follow the Byzantine Rite.

In his homily, Bishop de Galarreta recalled that the priest is a mediator between God and men, responsible for glorifying God and presenting to God the intentions and sacrifices of the faithful. In this way, he participates in a particularly intimate way in the life and action of Christ, the Man-God and the Mediator par excellence.

Bishop de Galarreta continued his homily by explaining that the priest should not only strive to follow Christ, but also to follow Mary, our mother in the order of grace and mediator between Christ and us sinners.

In front of about 2000 faithful, the prelate then proceeded to the ordination, first of the two deacons, then of the two new priests. The arrival of the Ukrainian candidate was uncertain due to the current war in Ukraine, but the prayers of the faithful and the seminary community were answered.

On Sunday morning, many faithful came to attend the first masses of the two priests ordained the day before. They thus had the opportunity to attend a Byzantine Divine Liturgy, which is traditionally prayed in Church Slavonic.

Exceptionally, Sunday Mass was not celebrated by a newly ordained, but by a priest celebrating his jubilee: Fr. Pascal Schreiber, director of the seminary. He celebrated 25 years of his priesthood on this day and thanked God for having been able to exercise an apostolate both so important and so marvelous for a priestly heart: the formation of priests.