Celebration Time in Guatemala!

Last Saturday, June 4th, on the eve of Pentecost, the entire Pius X Secular Institute was in celebration! By the laying on of hands by the Archbishop of Santiago de Guatemala, Miguel Ángel Avendaño Toledo received the priestly ordination. He became the first Latin American priest of our Apostolic Family.

Miguel Ángel was ordained to the priesthood in a celebration in which Kevin Guevara was ordained to the diaconate. The families and friends of Miguel Ángel and Kevin filled the Archdiocesan Shrine of Perpetual Adoration to capacity to participate in this important moment. Presided by the Archbishop of Guatemala, Most Reverend Gonzalo de Villa y Vásquez, the celebration also gathered about twenty priests who came to share in this important moment for the Church.

Marcel Caron, director general of the Pius X Secular Institute, presented and requested that Miguel Ángel be ordained a priest. After Miguel Ángel expressed his desire to receive this ministry, the Archbishop laying his hands on him said the prayer of consecration. Miguel Ángel was then vested by members of the Pius X Secular Institute who came from Canada for this unique occasion: Mr. Guy Brodeur and Ginette Larose – associate couple and members of the General Council –, Ms. Suzanne Guérard – person in charge of consecrated women of the Pius X Secular Institute – and Father Marcel.

Miguel Ángel chose not to celebrate a “first Mass” with great pomp. “A first Mass seems to me to be a display of honor and perpetuates a clericalism that is outdated. The priestly ministry is a service, a ‘walking together’ with the holy people of God. It is for this people of God that I am a priest; it is not for my glory. It is to give Jesus and to show that He is the way, the truth and the life that leads to building the Kingdom of justice and peace. My life as a priest will be a desire to present and live with others values where every man and woman can discover that they are sons and daughters loved by God.”

Thus, on the day of Pentecost, members and aspirants of the Pius X Secular Institute – from all parts of the country – gathered at the headquarters of the Fundación Sobrevivientes, an organization that works in defense of women and children victims of violence in Guatemala, to celebrate the renewal of commitments of three lay consecrated members. Norma Cruz, a consecrated member of the Family, is the founder of this organization and Miguel Ángel was involved in it for more than 10 years.

During the Eucharistic celebration presided by Father Miguel Ángel, Edwin Chávez, Steve Cheté and Ariel López renewed their commitments before the Director General. Also present was Magda Irene Chávez, who in the next few days will make her first commitment as a consecrated woman of the Pius X Secular Institute; this celebration will take place in her parish in Ciudad Quetzal on June 12.

The celebration continues in Guatemala! This visit of the Director General and other leaders of the Pius X Secular Institute made it possible to once again see the dynamism of this region. May the Holy Spirit continue to fill the hearts of the members of the Pius X Secular Institute and enkindle in each one the fire of his love!

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