Dear Friends, a year ago our new bishop Mgr Guiglielmo Borghetti canonically erected our community. This year, on the same feast day of St Benedict, he chose to ordain our brothers Antoine and Marie, the former to receive the sub diaconate and the latter the ecclesiastical tonsure and the minor orders of porter and lector. The ceremony took place in the more spacious church of a neighbouring village, Dolcedo, which the parish priest, a friend of the monastery, had placed at our disposal.
It was Mgr Mario Oliveri, who, at the request of Mgr Borghetti solemnly presided at these ordinations, the latter having given us the grace of his presence. Some thirty priests of the diocese and other surrounding dioceses came to join the ceremony as well as the mayors of Villatalla and Dolcedo together with the marshal of the gendarmerie.
The rite of tonsure, through which the layman becomes a cleric, that is to say, minister of God and His Church, required renouncing the preoccupations of the world in order for him to communicate the grace and all the supernatural order:
“Let us pray to Jesus Christ for his servant, eager for His love, to shed his hair, to give him His Holy Spirit, to make him always keep the clerical habit and defend his heart from the confusion of the times and from worldly desires; so that with this external change His divine hand gives him an increase of virtue, keep his eyes from all blindness of the spirit and the flesh and grant him the light of eternal grace “.
The subdiaconate, the first of the holy Orders, marks a major step towards the priesthood. The subdeacon can no longer break his commitment. He is admitted forever to the service of God. With His help, he will have to maintain chastity and remain irrevocably committed to the service of the Church. His function is to prepare the water for the Holy Sacrifice, to assist the deacon, to wash the palls and the corporals and to present the chalice and paten to the deacon for the Mass. All these details of the traditional ritual concerning the service of the altar show the greatness, the sanctity of Catholic worship, which even the Holy Angels attend, and the need for a special grace to perform the sacred functions with dignity and sanctity. In a moment of prayer, the bishop will ask the “Holy Lord, Almighty Father and Eternal God, to place the subdeacon in his august sanctuary as the zealous and vigilant guardian of the heavenly militia and to serve faithfully at His holy altars”.