ADDRESS OF HIS
HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am pleased to greet the students of the Pontifical North American College soon to be ordained deacons, together with the Rector of the College and the faculty members responsible for your formation, and accompanied by Cardinal Hickey, whom I thank for his untiring efforts on behalf of the College.
Extiendo también una cordial bienvenida a los familiares y amigos que han querido acompañarles en este momento de sus vidas con su oración y su presencia. Ellos son testigos de cómo Dios les ha guiado hacia la meta de su consagración como “siervos de los misterios de Cristo y de la Iglesia” (Lumen Gentium, 41).
At your ordination to the Diaconate, you will in fact receive a sacramental character configuring you in a new and specific way to Jesus Christ, who became the servant of all (Mk.10:5). As sharers in Christ’s grace and mission, you will assist in the celebration of the Sacraments, proclaim the Gospel and manifest the Church’s concern for the poor and needy. The fruitfulness of your ministry will depend upon the extent to which you make manifest the mind and heart of Christ through your thoughts, words and actions.
As you strive to live up to your calling as deacons, and eventually as priests, I urge you to trust in the grace of the Lord, confident that he "has called you and he will not fail you" (1Thes. 5:2a). Your union with Christ will grow and be strengthened through the generous exercise of your ministry, especially through preaching the Gospel message in all its integrity, and through your celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours in union with the whole Church. Your life of celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of God will be a powerful sign of your commitment to "a greater and undivided love for Christ and his Church" (John Paul II, Pastores Dabo Vobis, 50). It will proclaim your joyful readiness to serve your brothers and sisters.
As we approach the feast of Christmas and the celebration of the coming of our Savior, I invoke the joy and peace of God upon you and your families. With my
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