The order of priests that staffs Platteville’s two Roman Catholic churches has three new priests.0
Felipe Andrés Alvial, Vicente Oswaldo Salas Hinojosa, and Jerry Onofre Zhañay Rivera became priests in the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest at St. Mary Catholic Church Monday night.
Bishop Robert Morlino of the Catholic Diocese of Madison officiated at the ordination, attended by members of St. Mary’s and St. Augustine University Parish, plus other priests in the diocese and members of the new priests’ families. The Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre and members of the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard led the celebrants to and from the altar.
“What a joy it is for me when I call them … and I really mean it — ‘my sons,’” said Morlino to the new priests. “You and I have a very, very spiritual bond,” he said, hoping, “please, God, for years of works with you.”
The ceremony was held one day after the Catholic Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Morlino’s homily frequently mentioned Mary, who he said was the patroness of the U.S. and “our effective and powerful intercessor in the battle against evil.”
Morlino told the priests that their becoming priests would not end temptation in their lives.
“Usually God allows temptations of a priest to get worse, not better,” he said. “They get worse because people place their souls into your loving care. … Never face temptation without Mary at your side.”
Morlino listed faults of American culture as abortion, same-sex “unions” and a decrease in religious freedom.
“We are not as Catholics in this country turning to Mary,” who he called “the only perfect follower of Jesus Christ. Without her we risk losing hope.
“When you preach, don’t forget Mary. Remind people that the Devil is real, in a way that’s peaceful, because Hell is real, and truth brings peace.”
Zhañay, 25, of New York, Salas, 29, of Guayaquil, Ecuador, and Alvial, 26, of Santiago, Chile, are graduates of the University of Murcia in Spain, where they will be returning to complete their theological studies. The three were ordained as deacons in August, and were in Platteville the past week in retreat under the direction of Rev. Faustino Ruiz, St. Mary’s pastor.