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Friday, July 18, 2014

Fr. Bernard Poggi first Latin Patriarchate priest ordained in US


SAN FRANCISCO – A moment of nonpareil joy prevailed at the time when Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal entered the Church of St. Anne in San Francisco on July 12 to preside over the Mass during which Deacon Bernard Poggi was ordained priest of the Latin Patriarchate–in his capacity as the first Latin Patriarchate priest to be ordained in the United States.

An emotional atmosphere prevailed during the Mass particularly when Fr. Sami Totah, parish priest of Yonkers in New York, arrived sitting in a wheelchair. On the other hand, Monsignor Labib Kopti, parish priest of the Arab American community in San Francisco could not attend the event as he had suffered from a health setback and was admitted to hospital.

In his homily, Patriarch Twal said:” Dear parishioners, you gave us a few years ago a young man named Bernard, who crossed the seas, leaving behind his mother and sister, to acquire knowledge at the Latin Patriarchate. Today we accompany him on his unique and wonderful trip. We give him back to you as your pastor priest being a brother, a companion, and a friend of yours. We give him back as a priest who serves you with the holy sacraments”.

Present at the Mass were several Roman Orthodox and Roman Catholic priests. Priests from the Latin Patriarchate who attended the ceremony coming from Jordan and Palestine; were Fathers:
Jamal Khader , Rector of the Latin Seminary.
Rifat Bader
Hanna Salem
Alaa Alamat
Ilias Tabban
George Ayoub
Rick Van der Water , parish priest in Los Angeles for the Arab Americans
and the three new priests:
Baha Istiphan
Fares Siriani
Bashar Fawadleh
Youssef Keikati, OFM

After the Mass, over 500 people, led by Patriarch Fouad Twal and Fr. Bernard Poggi, arrived at the Marriot Hotel for a banquet held by the parishioners of St. Thomas More Church to welcome their new priest.

Fr. Bernard made an address, interrupted with applause, in which he promised to remain a sincere brother and friend to his Patriarchate and faithful.

The Catholic Center for Studies and Media as well as abouna.org site, represented by Fr. Rif’at Bader, convey feelings of cordiality and appreciation to Fr. Bernard on his ordination wishing him success. Best wishes of a quick recovery go to sick priests foremost of whom being Fr. Sami Totah and Fr. Labib Kopti. 

May further ordinations take place among the Arab community in the United States and the Diaspora.

Source : Abouna.org

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