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Spain: Three Dominican Friars from different nations were ordained as Priests in Avila

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With joy, we want to inform you that the priestly ordination of Brother Marcos Julio García Sánchez OP (Venezuela), Brother Stephen Saw Lej Kapaw Htoo OP (Myanmar) and Brother Rafael Jesús Jiménez Morillo OP (Seville), took place on May 24 at the Royal Monastery of Saint Thomas. The ceremony was presided over by Monsignor José María Gil Tamayo, bishop of the diocese of Ávila, with the presence of Brother Bonifacio García Solís OP (Prior Provincial), Brother César Valero Bajo OP (Provincial Vicar in Spain), Brother Carlos Rodríguez Linera OP (Prior of the Royal Monastery of Saint Thomas).

It is worthy to note that 2021 is a jubilee year in which the Order of Preachers celebrates the 800th anniversary of the death of Saint Dominic de Guzmán. For this reason, the Vicariate of the Province of Our Lady of the Rosary in Spain has been holding some fraternal encounters, and one of whom is a traveling exhibition called ‘At the table with Saint Dominic’ among other activities. The community of Royal Monastery of Saint Thomas began this fraternal encounter with the priestly ordination, with the presence of many friars from different communities, some friars from the Province of Hispania and some priests from the diocese of Ávila, Seville and Venezuela attended. The celebration began on the night of Sunday, May 23, with the customary Eucharistic celebration at 7:30 pm. Afterward, there was the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with the participation of young people, the presence of various religious communities, laypeople of the parish, as well as the coordination of the vocation promotion team of the diocese and the vicariate.

During the ordination ceremony, Monsignor José María highlighted the enormous work of evangelization that Saint Dominic, as the great preacher, did in his time, considering him one of the greatest imitators of Saint Paul. The bishop emphasized on the importance of the priesthood today, inviting our brothers to be true pastors and he continued saying that the beginning of this great sacrament must always be at the service of the people of God, following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ who did not come to be served, but to serve. He also asked the brothers that they should first of all be men of prayer, sacrifice, and dedication, highlighting the meaning of the celebration of the Eucharist as the culmination of revelation. 

Likewise, the Monsignor greeted the family of Brother Marcos and Brother Stephen due to the delicate and serious social and political situation in both countries. He asked those present to raise a prayer of peace. He also asked the rulers of respective countries to respect fundamental rights, emphasizing that he has kept these people present in his prayers. He reminded the two brothers not to forget that they are gifts from God for the church that is pilgrim both in Venezuela and in Myanmar.

The social networks of Brother Marcos and the team served to transmit the entire Eucharist in order that the families, friends and communities of Dominicans in Venezuela, Myanmar, and the world, could unite in prayer and action of thanks for these newly ordained priests to the Church and the Order.

On behalf of the three newly ordained brothers and the community of the Royal Monastery, Brother Marcos, gave words full of gratitude. He invited all those present to be like the only leper of the group of ten that Jesus healed, that is, to return to the Lord and give thanks to Him. He thanked the Bishop for his welcoming action as father and pastor. He also extended his gratitude to the elderly brothers residing in the infirmary, to the members of different male and female religious congregations, especially the Dominican Missionary Sisters of Santo Domingo and the Carmelite Missionary Sisters of the Holy Family who accompanied the whole liturgy with songs and to Brother Vicente Olmos when sang the litanies. He expressed his gratitude to the parents of Brother Rafael who travelled from Seville to accompany them all as a family; likewise, he expressed his appreciation for their affection and closeness. He also thanked the parishioners who took care of the details for the preparation of the ceremony. Being grateful to everyone present, he said, “Thank you very much, to all the names that are written in our hearts”.

Right after Brother Marcos delivered his words of thanks, Brother Bonifacio García Solís once again thanked the bishop again for having conferred the sacrament of Holy Orders to the three brothers. He greeted the families of the newly ordained priests, both those present and absent in the celebration. He congratulated them for their generosity of offering their children as shepherds for the people of God. He also communicated that in a few weeks’ time some brothers of the province will be ordained priests, the novices will make their first professions, and several student brothers will renew their vows and some will make solemn profession. That is why he insisted that we all must give infinite thanks to God because “after so much work and prayers, in the end, the Lord has listened to us”. He asked all those present not to forget to pray for an increase of religious and priestly vocation.


After the ordination, the family members and friends of the newly ordained priests shared a fraternal agape.


by the Community of Royal Monastery of Saint Thomas