May 21, 2022, was a joyful day for the friars of the Province of St. Elizabeth in Germany. It was also a special day in the vocational journey of Friar Markus SCHOLZ who was ordained to the priesthood by the laying on of hands of the Most Reverend Martin KMETEC, OFM Conv., Metropolitan Archbishop of Izmir (Smirne), Turkey.
The ordination took place at the Franziskanerkirche in Würzburg, Germany, with many friars present, together with friends and family members of Friar Markus. In his homily, Archbishop KMETEC stressed, “For all of us, today is a day of joy and hope. We can say, along with the psalmist, ‘This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad’ (Ps 118:24). We are all in joyful communion with Friar Markus, who will receive the sacrament of priestly ordination.” Speaking to the candidate, he underlined the great gift of grace that comes from ordination, as well as the service that it demands: “Ministerial priesthood means continuous commitment in proclaiming the Gospel, above all because it is a free gift. As Jesus said to the apostles, ‘Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give’ (Mt 10:8). The priesthood contains nothing in itself that could be owned, or that could be withheld. The priesthood is a gift for others, for brothers and sisters in the faith and for the poor and suffering. The priesthood is a gift of service for service’s sake, as Jesus showed us in the washing of the feet at the Last Supper. Moreover it signifies a process of ongoing, lifelong dispossession.”
The day after his priestly ordination, Friar Markus celebrated his first Mass at his home parish in Bieberehren, Germany. The parish priest delivered his sermon to a packed church.
After Friar Markus’ diaconal ordination in October of 2021, he became a member of the friary in Lage, Germany, which had just been founded in February of that year. In the months that followed, he continued to gain pastoral experience there. As part of his ongoing formation, he will now spend three months at the “Citypastoral” in Mannheim, Germany. During this period, he will live at the friary in Oggersheim, a friary of the Provincial Delegation of the Province of Cracow in Germany.
Friar Andreas MURK, Minister Provincial