Regnum Christi | Legionaries of Christ

37 Legionaries of Christ Ordained at the 2019 Priestly Ordinations

Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, O.F.M., ordains 37 Legionaries of Christ.

1. The ceremony took place at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, in Rome, on May 4, 2019, at 10:00 a.m (4:00 am EST).

2. Approximately 2,000 people attended the ceremony in person and over 7,000 people tuned in to the livestreams available online, offered in both English and Spanish, on May 4, 2019.

3. Archbishop José Rodriguez Carballo, O.F.M., in speaking to the newly ordained priests, said “the priest, more than any other, must be considered a man of the people, for the people. Neither the lifestyle nor the language that he uses in the service of evangelization can separate him from the people…”


Rome, May 4, 2019 – Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, O.F.M., secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, ordained 37 Legionaries of Christ to the priesthood in the Basilica of St. John Lateran. The ceremony was attended by more than 2,000 people, including relatives, friends, fellow seminarians and formators. Father Eduardo Robles-Gil, LC, general director of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi, presented the candidates for ordination.

Archbishop José Rodriguez Carballo, O.F.M., stated that “the priest, more than any other, must be considered a man of the people, for the people. Neither the lifestyle nor the language that he uses in the service of evangelization can separate him from the people, not only because of his origin but also because of the special vocation he has received.” He also invited the ordinands to never forget that they are “called to serve. The Church needs servant priests, religious priests who always remain in the humble attitude of service. Remember that like Jeremiah the Lord today says to you: ‘I am with you’, do not be afraid. Make constant memory of all this, be a good Christian, a good religious and a good priest.”

Father Christopher Brackett, LC, the rector of the Legionaries of Christ’s International College in Rome, affirms that this celebration “is something that we truly experience and live as a family. The most beautiful thing for me is to see how this celebration is lived by their brother legionaries, the companions they have had for so many years. There is a true happiness, a deep human and spiritual celebration of their priesthood.”  Fr. Brackett continues, speaking of the new priests’ formators,” As those who have accompanied them throughout their formation, it impacts us in a particular way. We feel that we are part of this mystery, of this gift — one might say of this miracle, because we have seen the great things that the Lord has done in those who are poor and weak. Now they will be the very presence of Christ. It is something difficult to explain with words. How great is the mercy of God!”

Father Ignacio Sarre, LC, who until last year (2018) served as rector of the theology community at the General Directorate, comments: “It is a source of immense joy. They entered when the congregation was going through very difficult times, but they have believed in God’s call and believed that this work is theirs. Those of us who have known them up close have witnessed their struggle, their love, and how they are bringing new life-blood to the congregation in this beautiful moment of renewal. Full of satisfaction and hope, we know that now they are going to put what they have received and what they have lived through Regnum Christi at the service of many.”

Father Eduardo Robles-Gil, LC, general director of the Legionaries of Christ, comments: “Priestly ordinations are always very emotional, especially for the immediate family. The Legionaries of Christ are also a family and the birth of new priests is a great joy and a great hope. It is also a sign that God continues to trust in the Legionaries of Christ and in Regnum Christi and asks us to help him so that his Kingdom may be present in the hearts of all people and in society. It is a privilege and a very great obligation. For me as general director, it is very consoling to see religious, who I have known for several years, arrive at this moment. I congratulate them and their families and I ask that the graces of this day be extended throughout their priestly ministry. “

Names and countries of origin for the 37 new Legionaries of Christ priests:

Jefferson Bartipaia (Brazil)

Massimo Merlino (Italy)

James Cleary (New Zealand)

Leonardo Rojas (Venezuela)

Gabriel Wendt (Germany)

Mariano Ballestrem (Germany)

Raphael Ballestrem (Germany)

Lucas Délano (Chile)

Javier Ayala (Chile)

Juan Pablo Álamos (Chile)

Óscar Gamboa (Colombia)

Óscar Ángel (Colombia)

Wilmar Soto (Colombia)

Víctor Hugo Jiménez (Colombia)

Juan Fernando Alzate (Colombia)

John Camilo Chaverra (Colombia)

Julián Danilo Serna (Colombia)

Alejandro Espejo (México)

Manuel Díez (México)

Jesús Salinas (México)

Javier Flores (México)

Ignacio Bello (México)

Francisco Cerrilla (México)

Edgar Pulido (México)

Salvador Escoto (México)

José Muñoz (México)

Terrance Allen (United States)

Justin Prigge (United States)

John Studer (United States)

Jared Loehr (United States)

Nathan Torrey (United States)

Eric Gilhooly (United States)

Nathan Wayne (United States)

Patrick O’Loughlin (United States)

Jerek Scherber (United States)

Christopher Vogel (United States)

Samuel Tan (United States)

The stories of the new priests can be read on the priestly ordinations’ website.


The Legionaries of Christ

The Legionaries of Christ, founded in 1941, is a congregation of the Catholic Church made up of priests and candidates for the priesthood. The Legionaries of Christ form part of the Regnum Christi family. Regnum Christi is made up of four vocations: Legionaries of Christ, Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi, Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi and Lay Members of Regnum Christi. There are nearly 25,000 members globally and Regnum Christi is present in 38 countries. The Legionaries of Christ are comprised of 4 bishops, 944 priests and 552 religious in formation and novices, according to the data compiled December 31, 2018. Its spirit is Christocentric, contemplative and evangelizing. The congregation works in communion with other Regnum Christi members in their mission to form lay people into apostles, people who let the love of Christ the King transform their hearts, their families and their world. It professes a deep love for the Pope, the Vicar of Christ, and for the bishops with whom it collaborates in the pastoral action of the local Church. The congregation’s motto, “Thy Kingdom Come!” expresses the longing that Christ should reign in the hearts of all people, in families, and in society. Collaborating with other members of Regnum Christi, other members of the Church and with people of good will to make this Kingdom a reality, it seeks to do everything for the Kingdom of Christ to the Glory of God.


Multimedia links:

Photographs of the ceremony (can be used giving credit to © LC Photoservice): Flickr

Facebook: @LegionofChrist

Twitter: @RegnumChristiEn

Instagram: @legionariosdecristo

Regnum Christi Instagram: @RegnumChristi_English

English livestream of Ordinations:

Spanish livestream of Ordinations:


Full audio of the homily available in Spanish and English live streams.

New priest bios (LINK)