On September 3, 2022, Friar Nicolas ABOU ANNY, a member of the Provincial Custody of the Orient and the Holy Land, was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Reverend César ESSAYAN, OFM Conv., Vicar Apostolic of the Latins of Beirut, Lebanon. The ordination took place at the St. Antoine de Padoue Church in Sin-El-Fil (Beirut).
Friar Nicolas returned to Lebanon last year, after a five-year formative journey in Assisi, to begin his pastoral experience and prepare for priestly ordination.
On September 19, 2021, Friar Nicolas was ordained to the diaconate through the imposition of hands and the consecratory prayer of Bishop César ESSAYAN. The ordination took place at the Saint François d’Assise Church and Friary in Zahlè, Lebanon.
On September 1, the Guardian at Sin-El-Fil, Friar Roger KOUYOUMDJI, led a prayer vigil in anticipation of Friar Nicolas’ ordination to the priesthood. The vigil began with Eucharistic Adoration under a theme based on the words the Seraphic Father addressed to his own: “See your dignity, my priest brothers, and be holy because He is holy.” This is precisely what Friar Nicolas was asking from the Holy Spirit, to be molded and transformed so that he might give Him his all.
During the Mass of Ordination, Bishop ESSAYAN delivered the homily and briefly touched upon the events in Friar Nicolas’ vocation story that led to his ordination. He recalled back when he was the Custos, the time he personally welcomed Friar Nicolas, on Holy Thursday of 2014. He then referred to the Word of Christ proclaimed in the Gospel, and exhorted Friar Nicolas saying: “You cannot follow Christ unless you love Him more than all other things, more than yourself….You are called to imitate His Love of God in order to love others.” He continued his admonishment, saying, “Take care that, in your life, God alone is the only source from which to quench your thirst and be nourished by His Love. Moreover, be ready to become a prisoner of Christ.” During one very touching moment, the bishop turned to Friar Nicolas and told him to become “a man of the Eucharist” to give thanks to Christ for the rest of his life and to imitate Him in His love for the Father and his brothers and sisters. The bishop then concluded his homily, saying, “If God has called you to this path, it is because He wants you to be a saint, so try not to get lost along the way.”
Before the final blessing, Friar Nicolas spoke to those assembled and thanked God for the gift of his life and vocation, both as a Franciscan and as a priest. He also expressed his gratitude to Bishop ESSAYAN for showing such great love to him and thanked Friar Damian-Gheorghe PĂTRAȘCU, Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Joseph, Spouse of the B.V.M. in Romania, for his presence. He expressed gratitude to all who accompanied him on his vocational journey and thanked all those who worked on this event so that everyone could experience this celebration in all of its simplicity.
On Sunday morning, September 4, Friar Nicolas celebrated his first Mass at the Saint François d’Assise Church and Friary in Zahlè, the place where he began his journey, professed his temporary and solemn vows and was ordained a deacon.
Friar Marian-Emanuel VĂTĂMĂNELU