On Sunday June 28, 2009, Gonzague Leroux, a Heart’s Home member, and 4 of his fellows, were ordained priests by his Excellency the most Reverend Dominique Rey, bishop of Toulon (Southern France). The celebration took place at the Immaculate Conception Seminary, in La Crau (France). Families and numerous close friends from Heart’s Home joined us to share this joy.
The evening before the ordinations, Rev. Thierry de Roucy gave a conference on the mission of the priest. That teaching reminded me of these words from the Gospel: “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I call you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15). By living with lay consecrated, religious sisters and deacons within the Heart’s Home community in Brooklyn, I realized what a privileged place they occupy. They are not superior as individuals but they are like closer to God, they are God’s friends. They remain human beings like each one of us but they humbly recognize they depend on Someone else, Someone who gave them a great mission they try to fulfill with the help of God, of their friends and of their families. Do not forget to entrust our priests to God in your prayers !
On the D-day, we had a friendly picnic at La Castille, in the garden of the seminary. That was a beautiful opportunity to see all the Heart’s Home family gathered. The celebration started at 4PM and thousands of people attended this unique moment. Mgr Rey welcomed new Movements and Communities, that are very present in his diocese. He renewed his friendly and fatherly support to Heart’s Home’s mission of compassion and to all its members. Apart from the 5 Heart’s Home deacons, 20 more young men were ordained. In his homily, Mgr Rey emphasized the importance of beauty in priestly ministry. Not only does a priest have to reveal the beauty of the Church, but he also has to enlighten the beauty everywhere, the beauty in each one of us that is the Beauty of the living Church !
As the celebration ended, I was moved to see so many people rushing to get their first blessing from the the hands of the brand new Priests!
The day after, I attended the 1st mass of Rev Gonzague Leroux which I experienced as a privileged time, both intimate and profound. To see Rev. Gonzague consecrating the bread and wine was the most moving moment! After Mass everybody was queuing to get his holy blessing, and so was I!