Pope Francis on October 11 appointed Msgr. Diego Giovanni Ravelli the Vatican’s next lead master of ceremonies for papal liturgies, replacing Msgr. Guido Marini, who held the post for 14 years. Msgr. Ravelli was also named head of the pope’s Sistine Chapel Choir.
A 56-year-old priest from northern Italy, Msgr. Ravelli is one of several papal masters of ceremonies at the Vatican. He also served in the office of papal almoner for 15 years before being promoted to manager of the office in 2013.
He replaces now-Bishop Guido Marini, who on August 29 was promoted to bishop of Tortona, a diocese in northern Italy close to Genoa. Bishop Marini had been in charge of papal liturgies since his appointment as master of ceremonies by Benedict XVI in 2007.
Bishop Marini, 56, was ordained a bishop by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica on October 17.
As the Vatican’s lead master of ceremonies for 14 years, then-Msgr. Marini worked under both Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.
He said: “I knew the popes very well and this, for me, was a great gift for my life and for my ministry, also because I worked with two great popes, who are different but complementary.”
“I always admired Benedict for the greatness of his thought and the greatness and depth of his reflections, and at the same time, his extraordinary humility,” Bishop Marini explained. “This always made a big impression on me.”
Bishop Marini added: “Regarding Pope Francis, I admire his great strength and the great eagerness he carries in his heart. He wants to reach everyone with God’s goodness. He doesn’t want to leave anyone behind.”
Papal masters of ceremonies are responsible for organizing and overseeing all liturgical celebrations of the pope. The lead MC is usually at the side of the pope during liturgies both in Rome and abroad.
Msgr. Ravelli was ordained a priest of the Association of Priests of Jesus Crucified, part of the Opera Don Folci association, in 1991; he then served in the Diocese of Velletri-Segni, which is just south-east of Rome.
In 2010, he received a doctoral degree from the Pontifical Liturgical Institute. His dissertation, published in 2012, was a historical-liturgical study on the Solemnity of the Chair of St. Peter celebrated in the Vatican. The study includes an analysis of the Lectionarium and the Sacramentarium of the Mass.
Msgr. Ravelli was also an assistant master of ceremonies prior to his 2006 appointment as a full master of ceremonies.
Msgr. Ravelli was rumored to be a possible replacement for then-Msgr. Guido Marini in 2017, before Pope Francis confirmed then-Msgr. Marini in the position for another four years.
Also on October 11, Pope Francis named Father Cristiano Antonietti, who works in the Secretariat of State as secretary of the nuntiature, as a master of ceremonies to fill the place left by Msgr. Ravelli.
By Hannah Brockhaus
Adoremus editors have combined two Catholic News Agency stories in this entry.