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Two former university professors to be ordained priests

They are the Navarrese journalist Javier Marrodán and the architect Héctor Devesa, from La Vila Joiosa (Alicante).

13 | 06 | 2023

Javier Marrodán and Héctor Devesa, graduates and former professors of the University of Navarra, have been ordained priests in Rome. Both were ordained on May 20, together with 23 other faithful of Opus Dei, by Korean Cardinal Lazzaro You Heung-sik in the Roman Basilica of St. Eugene.

Javier Marrodán Ciordia, from Pamplona, graduate in Information Sciences (1989) and doctorate in Public Communication (2000) from the University of Navarra, emphasizes that both the ordination and the first Mass he celebrated the following day in the church of San Lorenzo in Damaso "were two very exciting conference and in which he was surrounded by a good representation of the School of Communication".

The journalist, who will celebrate his first solemn Mass at high school Irabia in Pamplona on June 17, tells how his vocation came to maturity: "I had considered the option of the priesthood on several occasions and more than once I had told it in writing to the prelate of the Work, but one very specific day in 2018, while I was going down from Baigura through the beech forest that leads to the mountains of Areta, I saw it in a much clearer way. I think that the word 'call' is the most appropriate".

Javier Marrodán worked as an editor at Diario de Navarra (1988-2007), director of the magazine Nuestro Tiempo (2007-2011) and professor at School of Communication at the University of Navarra until 2019. He is the author of Return to Etxarri-Aranatz (2004), on the victims of terrorism, and has directed the project Lead storieson the history of terrorism in Navarra, which resulted in three volumes published between 2013 and 2015.

In 2017 he published with several Journalism students Auschwitz in the First Person. Una aventura periodística and in 2019 Heridos y olvidados. Survivors of terrorism in Spain, with journalist and professor María Jiménez. In 2019 he left Pamplona and went to Rome, where in 2021 he graduated in Moral Theology from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. There she published the book Tirar del hilo. All the stories that have led me to Rome.

The manifestation of God in the expression of beauty

For his part, the priest Héctor Devesa affirms that "the life of a Christian is to share the love of God that one lives" and that the ministerial priesthood "will mean directly administering that love: to be the hands of Christ". Doctor of Architecture from the University of Navarra, graduate in Dogmatic Theology from the same center and Doctor in Liturgical Theology from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, he emphasizes that in the programs of study of theology he has continued to explore the questions and interests that have accompanied him all his life: "The manifestation of God in the expression of beauty".

A native of La Vila Joiosa (Alicante), Héctor Devesa celebrated his first solemn Mass on June 3 in the Church of the Assumption in this town, on the 40th anniversary of his first Holy Communion. "I am moved by the great enthusiasm with which I have been received in my town. It was all overflowing with celebration, with human affection; with countless delicate tokens of affection from many people who expressed it in very personal gifts".

Héctor Devesa was a professor at the University of Navarra, where he taught Art and Modern and Contemporary Architecture. He also directed the colleges Ayete (San Sebastian) and Belagua (Pamplona), from where he promoted a program educational in the committee Nacional de Colegios Mayores. He was also in charge of advising the youth educational centers linked to Opus Dei in Navarre and the Basque Country (2010-2018), before leaving for Rome.

From his time in the Italian capital, he highlights an anecdote related to Navarre, as a result of his friendship with the priest Pablo Colino, canon of St. Peter's in the Vatican and maestro emeritus of the Capella Giulia. "We have shared conversations about his beloved land (Lumbier, Arriba, Etxarri Aranatz, etc.), about music and art, etc.; I have felt so enriched by his humanity and his priesthood that I have been captivated." For this reason, he asked him to be the one to impose the chasuble on him in the ceremony of May 20. And after making that liturgical gesture he asked him: "Where is Ciordia?" (in reference letter to the second surname of Javier Marrodán). "He went with his 'bastonico' there to give him a hug, to the surprise of his family who asked who was that older priest," Devesa recalls fondly.