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Presbyteral Ordination of Nicolás Viel (Brs)

Our brother, Nicolás Viel González,sscc was ordained a priest in the Parish of SS. Peter and Paul (Santiago, Chile) Saturday, October14, at 5p.m. Bishop Oscar Miñarro, presided. He is the auxiliary of the diocese of Merlo-Moreno (Argentine) where our brothers of the Chilean Province administer the parish of Saint Joseph of Liberty.

It was a great celebration. About 700 were jam-packed in front of the church.  There were about seventy Argentinians of whom sixty made the trip by land in thirty hours.

The afternoon began next to the tomb of Father Esteban Gumucio sscc, where the young man was drawn to the Lord through the inspiration of Esteban's poems.

In honor of the Argentinean community, several songs of the Eucharist were Argentinian, highlighting the psalm "The Lord is my shepherd." Valeria Martins, who belongs to the community of San José and accompanies the youth ministry, as well directing the choir of the parish, accompanied the psalm in dance. This was one of vividly emotional moments of the afternoon.

In the homily, there was another emotional moment.  Bishop Oscar Miñarro was giving little gifts to Nicholas, explaining that "at least for me, being a priest, has never been something all laid out; when one is ordained, one begins to learn to become a priest; we begin a path of discipleship and it would be good if there is a sign to begin this path." And he turned to get a backpack, which Nicholas’ sisters carried to the altar. Then the Bishop told how in this bag Nicolas would symbolically keep some people who will accompany him along this path?starting with a photograph of his parents! Nicholas' mother died 14 years ago.

Then came the figure of several brothers who have been part of the formation process of Nicholas, Damian of Molokai, Ronaldo Muñoz, Esteban Gumucio and Pablo Fontaine (he came over to give him a hug at the end of the homily). Pablo Fontaine had received Nicolás in the experience of the "peumos"1 in La Unión (a year of volunteer service in that locality of southern Chile), which marked his career. The bishop also gave him some empty cards on which to write the testimony of others on this road.

The next day Nicolás presided his first Mass, in the College SSCC Manquehue, where he was a student and where he received most of his sacraments and lived important moments of his family.

Link to a reportage on the ordination of Nicolás Viel on Television:


1. “Peumos” is a tree in Chile, found notably on a street of like name in La Union, in the Southern region. SSCC Volunteers, like Father Nicolas, who worked there twenty years ago witnessed the transmission of the designation from the trees to the volunteers who worked beneath them.  Thus “Peumos”  carries evocative power and sweet memories for those who gave a year after their graduation to serve others.