On Saturday, February 6, the Congregation of Holy Cross in Perú celebrated the priestly Ordinations of Elmer Caro, C.S.C., and Julio C. Arias, C.S.C. The Ordination Mass took place in San Francisco de Asís Chapel, which is part of El Señor de la Esperanza Parish in Canto Grande, Lima.
The Most Rev. Jorge Izaguirre, C.S.C., Bishop of the Prelatura of Chuquibamba, presided at the Mass and ordained the two men. It was the first time that Bishop Izaguirre, who was ordained a bishop on July 20, 2015, has presided at the Ordination of members of the Congregation. Also in attendance was the Most Rev. Arthur J. Colgan, C.S.C., Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Chosica, who was just orained a bishop on December 12, 2015.
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Joining the two Holy Cross bishops in attendance at the Mass were many others members of the Holy Cross family, including sisters, brothers, and priests. There were also many other religious and a large crowd of lay men and women, including members of Fr. Elmer and Fr. Julios’s families as well as people they met on their journey in Holy Cross.
There was a festive reception following the Ordination Mass. It was a time for Fr. Elmer and Fr. Julio to thank all the people who have accompanied them on their vocational journey.
The following day, both of the newly ordained priests celebrated Mass of Thanksgiving in the parish.
“I am very joyful with my priestly ordination as a religious in Holy Cross,” said Fr. Elmer. “Now I am able to serve the People of God celebrating for them the Eucharist, strengthening them with the Sacraments of Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation, contributing to their faith lives and spiritual formation, and animating them in the service of others.
“I only ask our Lord Jesus Christ to illumine me, guide me, and give me strenght to serve wisely, in union with his Spirit, our brothers and sisters who are entrusted to my care in our apostolates where I will serve as a priest.”
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Fr. Julio expressed similar sentiments: “Now after various years of walking with Holy Cross, I feel very happy that God has been present to realize the work he had initiated in my life. Of course, I think that my Ordination is not the end of my formation, but truly the beginning of a new phase in priestly ministry as my formation continues.”
“To be a priest means to be ready to respond to the needs of the people and to have close contact and companionship with them in their faith,” Fr. Julio continued. “I am trying to respond to the needs of the faithful in the parish, and, in a special way, letting God inspire my life and ministry. In summary, my ordination means service, attention, closeness, patience, tolerance, listening, prayer, and sensitivity to the struggles of the faithful.”
Following their Ordinations, Fr. Elmer continued his work as Director of the Postulant Program of Formation in Peru, a ministry he had assumed in January. At the same time, he also helps on the Vocations Team of the District of Peru and assists pastorally in El Señor de la Esperanza Parish. Fr. Julio works full time in the parish, assisting with a variety of pastoral programs.