Published January 19, 2012
On Dec. 12, 2011, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, CS, the papal delegate for the Legionaries of Christ, ordained 49 new priests, including Father Juan Pablo Durán Rueda, formerly of Atlanta. Father Durán was a parishioner of the Cathedral of Christ the King while going to high school in Atlanta. Father Frank McNamee, rector of the Cathedral, was one of the approximately 2,000 guests on hand for the ceremony. The Mass took place at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome.
Also ordained were Father Rueben Nuxoll and Father Michael Picard, who both served in the Archdiocese of Atlanta during their internships in preparation for the priesthood.
With 49 new priests, the Legionaries of Christ now have more than 900 priests who work in more than 20 countries throughout the world.
While his parents are natives of Colombia, Father Durán lived in several countries in his youth and spent part of his formative years in Atlanta. The experience of attending World Youth Day in Paris in 1997 coupled with a trip to Italy following high school graduation led him to make changes in his life. With a scholarship to Emory beckoning, he participated in a summer discernment program and then entered the novitiate.
He said, “Little by little, God was leading me along, sustaining my generosity one step at a time until he led me to decisions that committed me for life.”
Father Durán said that he is happy and thankful for his vocation and his priestly life. He currently lives in Cheshire, Conn.
He said, “I did not go to medical school as I had dreamed of doing, but I was a spiritual director and I have seen how grace heals hearts. I did not have a girlfriend again and I will never have a wife, but I felt a passion of overflowing mercy for the members of the church, especially those most in need of love, springing up in my heart. I don’t have children, but I have accompanied young people on their path and I am Father for everyone.”