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 published: 2009-05-05

Love is stronger

Priestly ordinations for the joy of the Church


Priesterweihe in Córdoba, Argentinien, am 2. Mai 2009

Santa Misa de ordenación sacerdotal, 2 de mayo, Córdoba, Argentina

Priestly Ordination in Córdoba, Argentina, May 2

Priesterweihe in Córdoba, Argentinien, am 2. Mai 2009


Weihe von Diakon Facundo Bernabei

Bendición al diácono Facundo Bernabei

Blessing of Deacon Facundo Bernabei

Weihe von Diakon Facundo Bernabei

Weihe von Diakon Federico Piedrabuena  

Bendición al diácono Federico Piedrabuena

Blessing of Deacon Federico Piedrabuena

Weihe von Diakon Federico Piedrabuena

P. Gerardo mit dem Neupriester – seinem Neffen  

El P. Gerardo besa las manos del neo-sacerdote – su sobrino

Fr. Gerardo kissing the hands of the newly ordained priest – his nephew

P. Gerardo mit dem  Neupriester – seinem Neffen

Ausgestreckt auf dem Boden  

Los diáconos, postrados ante Cristo

The deacons, before Christ

Ausgestreckt auf dem Boden

Primiz von Pater Facundo Bernabei Cárcar  

Primera Misa del Padre Facundo Bernabei Cárcar

First Holy Mass of Father Facundo Bernabei Cárcar

Primiz von Pater Facundo Bernabei Cárcar

Seine Mutter und Geschwister in der Gabenprozession

Su mamá y sus hermanos acercan las ofrendas

His mother and siblings

Seine Mutter und Geschwister in der Gabenprozession

Fotos: Juan Barbosa  © 2009

Álbum de fotos – photo album – Fotoalbum




ARGENTINA, Juan Barbosa. On a sunny day in the "beautiful Cordovan autumn" as expressed in the lyrics of a zamba (an Argentinean aboriginal rhythm), two very beloved young men, who are totally rooted in the Schoenstatt Family since their childhood, Father Federico Piedrabuena and Father Facundo Bernabei, received the Holy Sacrament of Ordination on May 2nd.

The newly ordained priests chose the phrase, used as a title for this article, for their commemorative cards. It is a compendium of what loves means for them, taken precisely from someone who gave his love to the last drop of his life: Pope John Paul II.

The families from Córdoba and Paraná were mobilized for a long time

Córdoba and Paraná are two Argentinean cities that are profoundly "sister" cities; because the founding stream departed from the Villa Warcalde (Córdoba) Shrine to La Loma (Paraná). After an enormous and enriching spiritual work of the family, the Shrine, which will celebrate its 34th Anniversary in a few days, was blessed. The two families, which are very united, will celebrate a milestone together: two priestly ordinations and the sister Shrine.

During the different gatherings that were held during the last six months, the subject of conversation was always THE CELEBRATION: the priestly ordinations of their two sons.

Their telephone calls and e-mails ran into the hundreds, as well as the hours of the work of the different commissions since nothing could be left to chance. "The tasks were many and the motivation to work for ‘our boys’ was enormous," related an enthusiastic member of the work team for the reception after the ordination. Only the weather should have been the MTA’s task and She fulfilled it! The ordination day was sunny and "almost spring like"; the next day for the first Mass the weather was fantastic an enormous contrast to the following one: a cold and cloudy one that foretold the arrival of winter. "It is incredible how God was manifested in Villa Warcadle in all his splendor," commented an assistant, who could not stop smiling as he recalled the experience.

The long awaited day…finally arrived!

Since that morning, there had been a constant running around by the organizers involved with many last minute details. The altar had to be adorned, the chairs prepared, finish the park, and welcoming visitors were just some of the tasks that had to be done, and they were working against the clock as they say in Argentina when something is urgent. Representatives from the province of Entre Rios, members of the Families from Chile, Paraguay, and of course from the Parish of San Pantaleón in Buenos Aires, where Father Facundo worked as a Deacon, also helped with the tasks.

The newly ordained priests, who were coming from the Benedictine Abbey Guadium Mariae, where they were on a week long retreat preached by Father Manuel Jose, who along with Father Gonzalo Castro, Rector of the Major College in Chile, accompanied Father Facundo and Father Federico during their last years of formation also worked against the clock.

Father Juan Pablo (Regional Superior of the Schoenstatt Fathers) and Father Javier Arteaga (Director of the Movement in Argentina) shared profound moments of sharing about times past. Father Antonio Cosp and Father Benjamin Pereira were constantly surrounded by many friends they had made during their work as superiors in Córdoba. It was the same for Father Juan José Riba and with another beloved priest in his native Córdoba for all that he gave and furthermore for the ordination of his nephew. We are referring of course to Father Gerardo Cárcar who is presently carrying out his pastoral work at the Parish Santi Patroni de Italia, in Rome, but he could not miss this time of enormous blessing for his nephew, who is now Father Facundo Bernabéi Cárcar.

Father Marcelo Gallardo, Father Guillermo Carmona, and Father Pastor Achával, advisers of the Movement in Córdoba, officiated as hosts for other priests of the Community who attended the ordination (more than twenty Schoenstatt Fathers attended and, they asked to be housed with the families…a beautiful paternal symbolism), which made their task very big as well as enormously gratifying, according to their own words. And it was not necessary for them to mention it…you could see the joy on their faces!

Holy Mass of Ordination

The procession made its way through the central aisle to the main altar, located in the center of the beautiful Villa Warcalde park; it was led by the seminarians and novices followed by the young men to be ordained, and ending with the Schoenstatt Fathers along with the invited pastors. In their midst was the noticeable and beloved presence of Cardinal Monsignor Estanislao Esteban Karlic, Bishop Emeritus from Paraná, the main celebrant of the Eucharist, which undoubtedly was another symbol of the unity between the communities, since the Cardinal was born and lived in Córdoba for many years. Father Pablo Mullin was in charge of the protocol and the impeccable organization of the ceremony was the responsibility of Father Tomy Dell’Oca. The Holy Mass began with the con-celebration of twenty-nine other priests…concluding with thirty-one priests accompanying the Cardinal!

"What a joy this moment represents for Argentina and for the Church of the entire world!" commented Cardinal Karlic in his homily citing Pope Benedict XVI at different times in relation to the priesthood "which has no limits." "Two young men have decided to follow Christ and to take Him to others without the limitation of borders, of time, of distance. They represent a true and enormous thanksgiving to God the Father." Time and again he expressed gratitude for the vocations of the young deacons, citing that "Love is the greatest thing in life, the most beautiful thing, it is what makes us more like Christ, and it is so beautiful, that it also allows us to carry the cross…"

The families approached the altar to present the vestments with which the other priests vested Father Facundo and Father Federico, and then their hands were blessed in a very profound and touching moment. Many sighs of emotion were heard among those in attendance and their eyes shone more than usual.

Then it was the moment, the deacons crossed the altar to stand beside Cardinal Karlic. NOW THEY WERE PRIESTS!

"Embraces, crying, laughter, jumping, circles, dances…different ways of expressing the same thing; joy and more joy because we have two more priests," as member of the Argentinean family summarized it between the sighs.

At the end of the Holy Mass, Father Federico Piedrabuena expressed appreciation for the many things they received during these years in his name and on behalf of his friend. His friend, Father Facundo Bernabei, blessed the souvenirs of the priestly ordination with the phrase which is the title of this article; now both friends are brothers forever.

Father Facundo celebrated his first Mass

The following day, Father Facundo celebrated his first mass in the Life and Hope Shrine, the other Shrine in the city of Córdoba. Some say that there are not two shrines, rather "Only one Shrine with two doors." Father Pablo Poi, a very close friend of Father Facundo, according to his own words, presented the homily. He stressed the creativity, the joy, and the love that Father Facundo radiates, and more importantly, his ability of making one ‘feel at home’ through his gestures and deeds." He expressed his gratitude to him for everything they have shared, and he manifested his immense good fortune to have him in the Community; the Community, which Father Facundo stressed in his acknowledgments, when he said that, "Once I heard that we could only do things in Community…We will carry out many more, very many more!"

In his expression of gratitude, he did not forget his relatives, his first teachers, his school- mates, his brothers from the first group of the Boys’ Youth, and of course the entire Schoenstatt Family who has given him so much.

This family in their different branches and apostolate, in their different apostolic actions, in the person of their advisers, the Schoenstatt Fathers and the Sisters of Mary, demonstrated their love by…being present! It was a glorious day, which ended and to those who attended on this May 2nd, it will not end, since they will never forget it.

Translation: Celina Garza, San Antonio, USA/amj



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