Br. Ricardo David Rivera Ortiz of the Face of Jesus and St. Joachim professed his perpetual, solemn religious vows during a nearly two-hour, bi-lingual Mass on June 23 before the Superior General of the Piarist Fathers at St. Helena Parish in Parkchester. All Piarist Fathers profess religious vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, as well as a special fourth religious vow to educate youth, especially the poor.
Br. Ricardo has just completed his third year of seminary studies at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers. He is the third of five children of Dr. Hector and Zelideth Rivera of Adjuntas, Puerto Rico. He began his discernment with the Piarist Fathers in 2006 and in 2011 graduated with a BFA and a concentration in painting from the University of Puerto Rico. He did some professional modeling before joining the Piarist Fathers, and he was sent to Miami to study philosophy. He graduated with a BA in 2013 from St. John Vianney Seminary and was then sent to Mexico City for a year for his novitiate. He then made temporary vows and was sent by his religious superiors to Puerto Rico to complete his teaching certification, which he did in 2015 at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, and he was then sent to St. Helena Parish in the Bronx for his theological studies. He enjoys singing and is a first tenor with the St. Joseph’s Seminary Schola Cantorum.
Br. Ricardo’s family flew in for the event. Also present were priests from the seminary, over 100 parishioners, and over 30 members from the Piarist Fathers Province of the United States and Puerto Rico who attended the solemn profession, which was made before the Piarist Superior General, the Most Rev. Pedro Aquado, Sch.P. who flew in from the Piarist Generalate in Rome for the occasion. Solemn vows are taken publicly and are received by a religious superior in the name of the Church. Temporary vows are taken for a fixed period of time while perpetual vows never expire. Only the pope can dispense a person from solemn vows. A religious community of men whose members profess solemn vows is called a religious Order, and its members are called “regulars.” The formal name of the Piarist Fathers is the Order of Poor Clerics Regular of the Pious Schools. Founded by St. Joseph Calasanz in 1617, The Piarist Fathers is the only religious order of men whose members profess a religious vow to educated youth. In 1597, St. Joseph Calasanz opened the world’s first free public school in Europe. There are now 1,400 Piarist Fathers teaching in 36 counties around the world.
Contact: Rev. David Powers, Sch.P. 718-892-3232