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New priest, deacon in June


Saturday, May 15 marked the end of Deacon Marcos Rodriguez’s eight years of studies required by Canon Law to be ordained to the Order of the Priesthood.

He will be ordained a priest by Bishop Lawrence Nicasio of Belize City and Belmopan, at Holy Redeemer Cathedral in Belize City, Belize, Friday, June 11.

Over the eight years of his canonical formation, Deacon Rodriguez studied at St Benedict Minor Seminary in Santa Elena, Cayo, while attending Scared Heart and St John Paul II Junior College.

He obtained an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts from Sacred Heart Junior College, then he was sent to further his studies at Kenrick-Glennon School of Theology, St Louis, Missouri, USA.

Two years later, in 2017, he completed his Philosophical studies, earning a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. In the same year, he started his Theological studies. While pursuing his Theological studies, Deacon Rodriguez was ordained to the Transitional Diaconate on June 13, 2019, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Belmopan, by Bishop Nicasio.

Deacon Rodriguez will be earning a bachelor’s degree in Sacred Scripture given through the Kenrick-Glennon School of Theology by the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Also, he will earn a master’s degree in Divinity.

Meanwhile, Brother Mateo Salam will be ordained a transitional deacon for the Diocese on Wednesday, June 9 in his home parish at Sacred Heart, Dangriga.

“I am excited and happy to arrive at this moment in my vocation and I pray that God grant me the courage to serve the faithful people of God with humility and charity in this new role as a deacon,”

Br Salam told The Christian Herald.

He told the diocesan monthly that his journey to the priesthood has brought him many joys and happiness. “I have come to believe that it is God’s will and may His will be done. In the words of our late Bishop Dorick Wright, ‘God never calls you to do a job and leaves you on your own. He is always there to assist you’”.

A proud Q’eqchi Maya from the village of San Pablo, Toledo, Br Salam shared when he entered the seminary in 2013, he had no idea that God was calling him to pursue priesthood.

“I ran away from Him, trying to avoid the call to the point where I started to do my own thing. When God calls, you cannot escape. He knew me and He knew that regardless of how long it will take, I will go to the seminary. I am excited to say that I was among the first four seminarians who started the school year at St Benedict Diocesan Seminary,” he said.

Br Salam studied three years at Sacred Heart Junior College for academics, while residing at the seminary. He graduated in 2016 and applied to go to Kenrick-Glennon Seminary to further his studies and formation. He was accepted in June.

Br Salam told The Christian Herald that he completed his Philosophy programme in May 2018.

A few months later, in August, he began his studies in Theology. He is now coming to the end of his Third year Theology (Theology III).