Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
Ordination as a Priest in Barcelona, Spain
(Third from right to left)

Barcelona is the second largest city of Spain after Madrid. Its place on the northeast coast of Spain on the Mediterranean Sea makes of it a great seaport. It dates back over 2,000 years and was a trading place for the Phoenicians, Romans and other Mediterranean people. It is famous for its old cathedral, the Monte Tibidabo, as well as the Gaudi's famous Holy Family Church (La Sagrada Familia), and for the nearby Montserrat Abbey.
At the end of his theological career, Fr. David went from Granada to Barcelona where the XXXV International Eucharistic Congress was taking place. He was ordained a priest in Barcelona by the Most Rev. Angel Antesana y Rojas, Archbishop of La Paz, Bolivia. At the same ceremony 840 other new priests were ordained in the Olympic Stadium of Montjuic. The stands of the stadium were packed with people that came from many countries to participate in the Eucharistic Congress. A large number of people from the United States, led by Cardinal Francis Spellman, traveled in two big ships for the occasion.
Within the field 28 altars were set up and 30 candidates were assigned to each altar to be ordained by 28 different bishops. Together with Fr. David another ten Augustinian Recollects were ordained priests, including three who were born in China. The Archbishop of Barcelona through a loudspeaker system set the pace of the rite while each bishop at his particular altar proceeded with the liturgy. The ceremony was presided over by the Pope's delegate while tens of thousands of people in the stands followed the celebration. This is the largest ordination of priests in the history of the Catholic Church.
Bishop Arias and his Ordination Class
(Second from right to left)
Church of Villaviciosa de la Ribera, Leon
Place of his First Solemn Mass
Fr. David remained in Barcelona for a few days taking part in the different acts connected with the Congress, such as conferences, expositions, processions and many other religious activities. After his priestly ordination, Fr. David went back to Villaviciosa de la Ribera (Leon) where his family resided at that time to celebrate his first solemn Mass. It was a great feast day, since all the people of the town and those of neighboring towns gathered to pray, sing and enjoy the folklore of the region. On the following Sunday, he also went to his native town of Mataluenga where he celebrated another solemn Mass and a great popular fiesta followed. In both places, the clergy, relatives, friends and all people of neighboring towns gathered to enjoy the occasion. A nicely decorated carriage was prepared for Father David to ride on. A parade was formed at the entrance of both towns and started moving toward the church, the people singing and reciting poems. It was a great occasion to see and rejoice with many people whom he had not seen for many years. They all were happy that a son of the town had become a priest.
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