The Ordination of Franciscan Friar Alvaro Rodriguez Vázquez took place at the Holy Spirit Cathedral of Istanbul.
On 22 November 2019, the 29-year-old Mexican Alvaro Rodriguez Vázquez, who arrived in Istanbul 8 months ago is ordained priest at the Holy Spirit Cathedral of Istanbul.
In the ordination ceremony many languages are used, such as Turkish, Spanish and English. The principal consecrator was the Latin Catholic Bishop Monsignor Ruben Tierrablanca Gonzalez and co-consecrator was the Chaldean Archbishop Monsignor Ramzi Garmo. Syrian Catholic Church Patriarchal Vicar and Chorbishop Monsignor Orhan Çanlı, Syriac Orthodox Chorbishop Monsignor Melki Akyuz, the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch, clerics from various Catholic institutions of the diocese, nuns, a group of Mexicans including the family of the new priest were also present in the ceremony.
The initial procession started with a song in Spanish. Reverend Alvaro sat next to General Vicar of Bishop of Celaya of Mexico, Fr. Daniel Huerta Ibañez.
After the reading of the words of Jesus Christ from the Gospel of St. John by Father Felianus of the Franciscan Community of Izmir, the rite of ordination started.
“I want to go back a few years to remind you of the ways in which the Brother Alvaro has gone. If I’m not mistaken, Brother Alvaro has passed through a long spiritual preparation and training, as many of us did: He first entered the minor seminar, after the Congregation of the Franciscan Minors’ for the novitiate and he continued his studies. He’s been ordinated deacon two years ago. For over 13 years our beloved brother was in constant dialogue with his Lord Jesus Christ; so, the Lord spent time with him to help him. So, he answered with his free will to reach His fullness. Undoubtedly there have been dark times in this quest, but right now, despite everything, as the answer to this long wait that brought him to Istanbul, Brother Alvaro stands before us” said Bishop Tierrablanca in his sermon.
Following the sermon, Reverend Alvaro swore that he wished to be a servant of God before the entire congregation and the Bishop. Then he knelt and promised to respect and obey to the Bishop and to his successors. Monsignor Tierrablanca invited all the guests to pray for him.
At the end of this section, Reverend Alvaro laid down on the ground and the Litanies of the Saints were sung by Father Iosif, the parish priest of the Church of St. Anthony. The bishop and priests then extended their hands and sang the Ordination Prayer.
Reverend Alvaro knelt before the Bishop and got anointed with the Holy Oil. Then, he took the cup with bread and wine from him.
Then, Bishop Tierrablanca and Reverend Alvaro distributed the Holy Communion to the entire congregation. During the celebration, the Dominican priest Giuseppe Gandolfo played the organ. At the end of the ceremony, all the congregation and guests got together for a cocktail given in the courtyard of the cathedral with Mexican traditional songs. (SAT-7 TÜRK / Nathalie Ritzmann)