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Sodalitium Christianae Vitae - English / News  / New priest in the Sodalitium: “It was a very special moment and I could not hold back the tears”

New priest in the Sodalitium: “It was a very special moment and I could not hold back the tears”

From the hands of the Archbishop of Denver, Msgr. Samuel J. Aquila, STL, our brother Juan Fernando Sardi received priestly orders in a beautiful Eucharistic celebration on Wednesday, January 25th, the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul, in the parish church Holy Name (Denver, Colorado).


It has been a night of great emotion, fraternity, unity and gratitude, from the liturgy to the celebration, experienced by Sodalit brothers, relatives of F. Juan Fernando, emevecistas, project collaborators and friends from various places.

At the end of the Priestly Ordination Mass, there was a very emotional moment when Msgr. Rev. Samuel J. dedicated some heartfelt words to the entire Sodalit community.

Looking toward the pews where they were standing, he told them, “His community is close to my heart. I thank you for all the support you have given Juan Fernando over the years. You can see continuous growth in him. With all that they have had to improve, the light of Christ triumphs. You brothers are proof of that”.

After a brief pause, which generated a deep silence, he continued with a very moved tone of voice: “Thank you for your faithfulness, know that you are in my prayers”. He turned and looked at F. Juan Fernando and said: “Thank you for finally saying yes”, at which point the assembly accompanied them with loud applause.

Archbishop of Denver Msgr. Reverend Samuel J. Aquila, STL.

Archbishop of Denver Msgr. Reverend Samuel J. Aquila, STL.

The new priest had the joy of bringing together almost all of his family who have traveled from far away. Dad, mom, brothers, uncles and aunts and among them his grandmother who will be 92 years old this year.

His mother, Yolanda Soto, told us that throughout the ceremony she experienced unparalleled joy. “Happiness encompassed my heart and my entire being. I only thanked God and the Virgin Mary for allowing me to be in that place and at that moment witnessing the long-awaited ordination of my son”.

Addressing the Sodalits, he left us these words: “Thank you to all the members of the community for your kindness to me and the whole family; and for accompanying Juan Fernando in this important step in his life. Thank you for being so committed to his vocation of service and his perseverance in it”.

In this special moment for our brother Juan Fernando, we are accompanied by Sodalits, laymen and priests, from various communities around the world. Among them were José David Correa, Superior General of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae and Msgr. José Antonio Eguren, SCV. Metropolitan Archbishop of Piura and Tumbes (Peru).

The Eucharist was attended by families who attend the parish, members of the Christian Life Movement and friends of the community linked to the various apostolic works that we carry out in Denver.

“I was deeply moved: I was already a priest!”

On Wednesday morning, the day of the ordination, in Denver it was snowing as if it were a gift for Juan Fernando, who really likes snow.

“I was very nervous, but I had asked God to give me peace and serenity and that’s how it was”, Juan Fernando tells us, recalling that special day. “It was a peace that did not come from me (because I cannot produce that peace), it was as if time stopped and I was alone before God”.

The snow had stopped falling in the afternoon and at 6:30 p.m., the time the Mass began, Deacon Juan Fernando entered the Church with that peace that he had asked for in his prayer, with his heart prepared to be with the Lord.

F. Juan Fernando Sardi and Msgr. Samuel J. Aquila, STL during the Mass.

F. Juan Fernando Sardi and Msgr. Samuel J. Aquila, STL during the Mass.

“During the ordination Mass there were very beautiful moments where I experienced the grace of God very strongly, such as the moment of the imposition of the hands of the bishop and all the concelebrating priests. I felt as if they gave me a “strength” that I did not have, that came from them and from God”, he tells us excitedly.

“After the laying on of hands (priestly order is conferred through the laying on of hands), I felt deeply moved because I was already a priest, something I had dreamed of for 20 years, I couldn’t believe it. It was a very special moment and I couldn’t hold back the tears”.

Something that every newly ordained treasures is the moment when the celebrant Bishop addresses a few words to him. This was also the case for Juan Fernando, who tells us: “It deeply touched my heart when the Bishop said that I was being ordained in difficult times for the world and for the Church, and that this demanded a lot from me. He asked me to be very merciful in the Sacrament of Reconciliation”.

Father Juan Fernando Sardi is still accepting all the blessings that God has wanted to bestow on his life in these days, but some words that mean a lot to him are those of John the Baptist: “It is necessary that He grow, and that I decrease” (Jn 3, 30).

“Don’t stop hoping and don’t stop trusting in God”

His experience on the road to his priesthood has not been easy, Juan Fernando tells us, but he firmly expresses: “The Lord has never abandoned me, he has always given me reasons to hope”.

The new priest F. Juan Fernando Sardi excited.

The new priest F. Juan Fernando Sardi excited.

“The words that come to mind are don’t stop hoping and don’t stop trusting in God. Well, He, who has started this work, will carry it to completion (if we let it, obviously)”.

As a result of his life experience, F. Juan Fernando shares with us some actions that helped him on this journey: “Try to listen to him in prayer. That is very important, learning to be silent, not only externally but in one’s own heart in order to listen to the voice of God who speaks to us, something that is very difficult in today’s society. Learning to pray is fundamental and devoting time every day to prayer, to being with Him”.

Trust in God! It is a message that F. Juan Fernando wants to leave for young people, adding that “He never disappoints and always keeps his promises. Always!”.

“My plans totally changed and at first it was very difficult to leave them (leave my dreams), but none of that was in vain… I would never have imagined that I could be so happy (in the midst of difficulties and suffering, normal for the life of any human being)”.

“Do not be afraid to listen to God and to do what He asks of you, as Benedict XVI said: “He takes nothing and gives everything, and if he takes something it is because it is left over” added the new priest.

What’s next for F. Juan Fernando Sardi?

Finally, he has shared with us a little about what will now be his mission. F. Juan Fernando has been named Parochial Vicar and will be collaborating with the sacramental and apostolic life in the parish. He will also help with the Hispanic apostolate, as he has a large Spanish-speaking congregation.

Let us accompany with our prayers the mission of the new Sodalit priest.

We invite you to see the photos of the priestly ordination of F. Juan Fernando on Facebook and Instagram.

Father Juan Fernando together with Msgr. Samuel J. Aquila; Bishop José Antonio and brothers of the community.

Father Juan Fernando together with Msgr. Samuel J. Aquila; Bishop José Antonio and brothers of the community.