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Friday, 21 March 1969


We bid a warm welcome to you, Our sons and daughters, who have come here together from many lands to be present at the ordination to the priesthood of ten of the students of the Beda College.

May this occasion bring you joy, and also a deeper sense of your closeness to the sanctifying mission of the Church’s ministers.

You have long known these men as your sons and friends. The very fact of your coming here proves the strength of the links joining you to them. Now, in the words of the Epistle to the Hebrews (5: l), they have been «chosen from among men» and «appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God». You may never know how great a part you have played in God’s plan of choosing them and appointing them for that purpose.

Theirs is a high calling. It came not without the aid of their acquaintances; these acquaintances must not now withdraw their aid. You have been close to them until now. Remain with them; help them with your prayers and your encouragement. You will share in the work they do to build up the Body of Christ, which is the Church. You will share, too, in the reward which the Lord will surely give for their devoted service.

Our prayer goes with the newly ordained priests, that the beauty of perfect justice may shine in them, and that they may lead others to the faithful following of Christ by the example of their holiness. May they and all of you receive strength and encouragement from Our Apostolic Blessing, which We from Our heart bestow on you and on your dear ones.


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