Santiago, 11/11/14 (Sodalitium News – Chile). On Friday, November 7th, the eve of the day when the Church in Chile begins the month of Mary, Sebastián Correa Ehlers, deacon of the Sodalitium of Christian Life, was ordained a priest by Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, Archbishop of Santiago.
In the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in downtown Santiago, family, friends and members of the Sodalit Family gathered to celebrate Sebastián Correa Ehlers, the first Chilean priest in the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae. The ceremony was attended by the Superior General of the Sodalitium, Alessandro Moroni, as well as members of his Superior Council.
During his homily Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati highlighted God’s action among men, reminding those present that the family is a domestic Church where the first signs of God’s presence are received through the sacraments, and also where one first learns to live love. He then explained how the Church is a larger family – a sign of communion among human beings -, in which it continues to grow as we learn to live love. “In the Church, (Sebastián) has learned that the Lord gives a special gift, a vocation. He has discovered a charismatic community as a special way to follow Jesus, an original way to emphasize the Gospel of Jesus. And in the Sodalit community he has found direction.”
“Here we have before us not only Sebastian, but also the Church, who has accompanied him from childhood and now as an adult and servant of the Lord – he said speaking to those present. This is his community that discovers in his vocation a gift from the Lord, and a Church who wants to be for him a gift and the help that he needs to faithfully live his priestly ministry. This is the community, the Sodalit community, a small part of the universal Church, present as a gift of the Spirit at the service of the People of God. Here is the local Church of Santiago, the Church of his parish, the Church represented by priests and their pastor. It is a Church with a universal face. Here is the Church, present in Mary and the saints.”
Emphasizing that the protagonist of this story is God, he reminded Sebastian that “the Spirit of God is here; He is sending you, and He gives you a mission. You are an ambassador of Christ. In your life as a priest love will not lack, but neither will the cross.”
Cardinal Ezzatti ended his homily urging Sebastian to “be a living sign of the love that you are called to give to your brothers, always following the example and guidance of Jesus to give love especially the most needy. May the Mother of Jesus accompany you, as She gave the world Jesus and stood at the foot of the Cross.”
After the ceremony Fr. Sebastian, deeply touched by the experience of being chosen despite being a sinner, thanked God, the Church, his family and his community by their accompaniment, and he asked them to help “bridge the gap between God and our brothers, to be a sign of reconciliation.” Sharing aspects of the experience of his ordination, he pointed out the positive response that his vocation had among his friends, and he highlighted how the grace of God works in those chosen. “I have my trust placed in God today, because He chose me and He keeps me strong,” he said. He also recalled as being chosen to the Sodalitium was because of a call, which was followed by the voice of the Lord, in which there has been a very special Marian experience. “I have great moms, and they have always been with me,” he said with deep gratitude.
Alessandro Moroni thanked God for the gift of a vocation for the Church and at the service of the community. Recalling the years in which Sebastian encountered the Sodalitium, he explained that we are celebrating the faith, because the generosity of a young man who responds to a call today must be celebrated. Finally he also thanked everyone for their support, generosity and accompaniment, asking for everyone’s prayers.
Carlos José, Sebastián’s brother, said a few words on behalf of the entire Correa Ehlers family, which also has a consecrated sister among the Servants of the Plan of God. Describing Sebastian’s journey, he recalled that it was not always easy to understand his vocation, but it has ultimately been cause for great joy. “Eventually Sebastian became the heart of the family concluded Carlos José. I thank God for choosing one of our own. I thank the Sodalitium, by wanting and being a support to his vocation.”