Gratitude, dedication, service and memory
On Saturday, 21 October, the Redemptorist Javier Arenal Pardo, CSsR, was ordained deacon in the Parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Madrid by Cardinal José Cobo, Archbishop of Madrid.
This Sunday’s liturgy of the word, especially the Gospel, invited us to reflect on “what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God?” The Cardinal, in his homily, reminded us that the life of each person belongs to God and that this belonging invites us to respond to him with daily gratitude, with a dedication that makes us disciples, with a service in the style of Jesus, and all of this from the memory of the Word of God.
The archbishop reminded Javier that the word Jesus gave him shall guide him. He added: “You will be the lips of Christ in the word, in preaching and catechesis. The word that will become sacrament and life, especially from the Redemptorist charism and wrapped by the life of your community at every moment”.
In addition to a large group from the parish, the celebration was attended by lay people from other Redemptorist communities and from groups and movements in which Javier collaborates. Among them, the presence of the deaf and deaf-blind community of Our Lady of Silence of Madrid deserves special mention. The celebration was interpreted in sign language to make it accessible to these people.
The chords of the youth choir of the Perpetuo Socorro parish, joined by young people from other communities, sounded especially beautiful. Their singing lent a joyful and festive distinctive to this celebration.
At the end, in his thanksgiving, Javier wanted to remember all the people who had accompanied him on this journey, especially his family. Nor did he forget his friends, his teachers, the parish where he has carried out his ministry and the Redemptorist communities through which he has passed, especially the formation community in which he has lived until now.
Fr. Provincial, Francisco Javier Caballero CSSR, thanked the Cardinal, José Cobo and the family of Javier who have accompanied him in his vocation and sown in him so many qualities and evangelical values. He also thanked the whole Redemptorist family and all those present and invited Javier to continue to grow, from the heart of our Redemptorist identity, in the profound experience of universal love and the selfless service of all.
After the diaconate ordination, we were able to share a fraternal agape prepared with care and affection by the volunteer group of the parish and the formation house.
It is a joy for the whole Redemptorist Missionary Congregation to have a new deacon who continues his preparation for the priestly ministry.
Antonio Puerto, CSSR