Lima, 09/09/14, (Sodalit News – Perú). On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of priestly ordination of Fr. Armando Nieto Velez, the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae offered a Mass for this beloved Jesuit priest who has been present with them since the beginnings of the Sodalit Family.
The emotional Eucharistic celebration, presided by Fr. Armando, took place at St. Joseph of Mayorazgo church, which belongs to the parish of Our Lady of the Cross. The Archbishop of Piura and Tumbes, Jose Antonio Eguren, who met Fr. Armando in the seventies when he was first getting involved with the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, was present at the Mass.
Also present at the Mass were many Sodalits priests who had gotten to know Fr. Armando over the years and are now residing in other countries. Jose Ambrozic, Vicar General, along with members of the Superior Council came representing the Superior General of the Sodalitium. The authorities and other members of the Marian Fraternity of Reconciliation as well as the Servants of the Plan of God also attended the Mass, along with numerous members of the Christian Life Movement and other associations belonging to the Sodalit Family.
Fr. Armando began his homily quoting a phrase that Pope Paul III wrote to St. Ignatius and the nascent Company of Jesus: “Digitus Dei hic est,” which means the finger of God is here. It was a reminder of the same words which were pronounced at an anniversary Mass of the Sodalitium by another Jesuit, Bishop Fernando Vargas Ruiz de Somocurcio. “After such a long period of time I see that the finger of God is still here,” Fr. Armando said.
Referring to the anniversary of his ordination he said that, after having passed so many years, he feels the same unworthiness as when he was ordained, but also gratitude for being chosen by God. “Each time I raise up the consecrated host I continue to feel the undeserved call of the Lord,” he commented. And speaking to the priests that accompanied him he said, “I see many who, when I first met them, were young enthusiasts. Now I see them as priests concelebrating here with me and for this I give thanks to God.”
He emphasized that he has felt accompanied throughout the years by the Sodalitium and was thankful for the presence of Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren, who had come especially for the occasion to participate in the Eucharist. He also shared how it had been his greatest joy to celebrate Mass with the spiritual family and to have been able to accompany the Sodalitium since its very beginnings.
“In a world in which things were not going well, I encountered you young people who wanted to change things,” he said, speaking to the oldest members of the Sodalitium. He recalled that, “when parents came to me inquiring about you on behalf of their children I always told them that the Sodalitium was a good endeavor.”
Caption: (Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren, SCV, of Piura and Tumbes, and Jose Ambrozic, Vicar General of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae.)
With emotion he concluded his words saying, “I love you all very much”. At the end of Mass, Jose Ambrozic, Vicar General of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, who has known Fr. Armando since the time he joined the Sodalitium, delivered some words of gratitude in the name of the entire spiritual family in which he highlighted the importance of Fr. Armando’s accompaniment from the beginning. He also recalled a few cherished anecdotes from the younger periods of the community. He remembered how, with patience, a testimony of service and the celebration of the sacraments Fr. Armando was always present to guide the young Sodalits who were inspired to do apostolate.
Afterwards, he presented to him a book compiled with testimonies of priests, laymen and adherents of the Sodalitium and the entire spiritual family which gratefully related the importance of knowing and being close to Fr. Armando Nieto in many different moments of their lives.
After the Eucharistic celebration and the words of gratitude, all those present gathered together to celebrate, and many had the opportunity to greet and congratulate Fr. Armando for his 50th anniversary of priestly life.