In a historic event, the Cardinal Archbishop Jose Francisco Robles Ortega of Guadalajara, Mexico will ordain seventy men to the Priesthood. It will take place at the Santuario de los Martires in two rounds: thirty-three on Saturday, June 4th and thirty-eight on Sunday, June 5th.
The Diocesan Seminary of Guadalajara is known to be one of the largest in the world. In 2018, the Seminary had 1,186 students enrolled. Of that total number, 330 were Theologians.
An initial Seminary was founded in 1570 in Guadalajara during colonial times to comply with the directives of the Council of Trent, but the current Diocesan Seminary was founded in 1696. Thousands of Priests, many Bishops, and Cardinals call the Seminary their alma mater, along with three Presidents of the Republic of Mexico, several Governors of the State of Jalisco, lawyers, authors, and other notable citizens of that nation. Among the alumni are also canonized Saints and Blesseds.
The Archdiocese of Guadalajara is composed of 493 Parishes with 5.7 million faithful, which is an estimated 91.4% of the total population. About 1,600 Priests serve the Church, along with 3,000 Women Religious and two Permanent Deacons.
In comparison, my Diocese of Savannah is composed of 57 Parishes with 84,000 faithful, which is an estimated 2.8% of the total population. About 110 Priests serve the Church, along with 68 Women Religious and 82 Permanent Deacons. We will ordain two men to the Priesthood tomorrow. If I divide the number of men ordained by the number of Catholics in each territory, I see that Savannah is not bad in proportion to the needs of Guadalajara. Guadalajara has one new priest for every 81,000 Catholics, Savannah has one new priest for every 42,000 Catholics.
Let’s lift up in prayer the many Priests ordained during these weeks.
Lord our God, who in governing your people
make use of the ministry of Priests,
grant a persevering obedience to your will
to the Deacons of your Church,
whom you graciously choose today
for the office of the priesthood,
so that by their ministry and life
they may gain glory for you in Christ.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.