Tag - clergy

Pope in Colombia spells out priorities for the clergy



(Vatican Radio) Some 12,000 priests, men and women religious, consecrated laypeople and seminarians with their families crowded into Medellin’s “La Macarena” event centre on Friday to listen to Pope Francis’ thoughts, proposals and instructions regarding their ministry.

On the podium, the relics of Saint Mother Laura Montoya, a nun who was the first female Colombian Saint. Canonized by Pope Francis himself in 2013, Mother Laura was a teacher and prolific author who hosted classes in her own home when the 1895 civil war in Colombia forced schools to close.

And in the presence of the relics of this inspiring figure, the Pope put his long text of prepared remarks aside, and engaged with his audience who rose to the occasion reacting enthusiastically to his exhortations and comments.

In a town – Medellin – which used to be the reign of the powerful drug trafficker, Pablo Escobar, Pope Francis pointed his finger against the drug traffickers of today who, he said, continue to destroy the lives of so many young people.

He asked those present to pray for a conversion of the hearts of the traffickers, to ask forgiveness to the Lord for having ruined the lives of so many boys and girls, and to accompany the new generations on a path of rebirth and hope.

He touched on a theme that is dear to him warning the clergy that the devil too often finds its way into their hearts “through their wallets.”

“That’s how corruption spreads, he said, never be attached to material things.”

He told them it is not possible to serve both God and wealth and urged them never to take advantage of their condition as religious and of the generosity of the faithful in order to be served or to obtain material riches.

And in a powerful condemnation of clerical sex abuse, Pope Francis decried “the poison of lies and hidden things”,  the manipulation and abuse of God’s people, of the most fragile of God’s people, especially the elderly and children.

This poison, he said, “must find no space in our communities,” every dead branch must be severed.

Pope Francis concluded his animated address reminding all those who have received a spiritual vocation never to forget the joy with which they must live their mission.

In Colombia with Pope Francis, I’m Linda Bordoni.

(from Vatican Radio)



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Congregation for Clergy hosts course on priestly formation



(Vatican Radio) More than one hundred seminary rectors from throughout the English-speaking world gathered in Rome earlier this month under the guidance and sponsorship of the Congregation for Clergy to discuss the revised handbook of best practices for the formation of seminarians.

Known as the Ratio fundamentalis institutionis sacerdotalisratio fundamentalis or just ratio for short – the latest edition of the document is titled, On the Gift of Priestly Vocation.

The basic and animating idea of the Ratio is that of helping seminaries all around the world to succeed in their mission of forming men for the priesthood by first firmly grounding them in a self-conscious attitude of missionary discipleship, and then giving them the tools to live their lives as disciples to the fullest, in and through the ministerial priesthood to which God calls them through His Church.

One of the participants, Msgr. David L. Toups, rector of St. Vincent De Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida, told Vatican Radio this new document, which brings together the many disparate elements offered as teaching and formation tools by several different dicasteries in the thirty-odd years since the last Ratio was promulgated, and offers best practices to seminary rectors who work in vastly different cultural contexts in service of one mission, is more than welcome.

“It’s highly significant for us in the seminary world,” he said.

Msgr. Joseph Betchart, rector of Mount Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Oregon, also took part in the course, and told Vatican Radio he welcomes the holistic approach to formation, with the particular emphasis it puts on discipleship.

Click below to hear our conversation with Msgr. Toups and Msgr. Betchart



“In order to shepherd the People of God,” he said, “you have to – first of all – be a member of the People of God.”

Msgr. Betchart explained that the view this document takes is comprehensive.

“It is really focused on forming the man to be first and foremost a disciple of Jesus Christ,” he said, “because, as the axiom goes, ‘You can’t give what you don’t have.’”

The course sponsored by the Congregation for Clergy on the fundamental principles of the new Ratio fundamentalis ran from June 26th to July 7th in Rome.

(from Vatican Radio)



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Pope to Genovese clergy: creative fidelity key to mission



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met with the bishops, priests, religious and seminarians of the Archdiocese of Genoa and the whole region of Liguria on Saturday, during the course of a one-day pastoral visit.

The questions from clergy and religious came from two secular priests, Don Andrea Carcasole and Don Pasquale Revello: the President of the Italian Union of Women Religious Superiors for the Liguria Region; and  Fr. Andrea Caruso, O.F.M. Cap.

Their queries focused on the search for ways to maintain hope and nourish the interior life of faith in today’s frenetic world – and the Holy Father’s responses centered on the imitation of Christ, the fostering of a sense of fraternity among the clergy and of genuine diocesan ecclesial unity, and the cultivation of a rich, mission-focused interior life of prayer.

“What we want,” said Pope Francis, “is pastoral conversion, missionary conversion.”

The Pope also condemned the practice – diffuse in Latin America and at one time not too long ago present also in Italy and other places, of encouraging poor young women to join a religious congregation as novices – often in order to shore up diminishing numbers – and then to abandon the girls and young women for whom religious life is not their calling.

“It is a scandal,” said Pope Francis.

“Work [to foster vocations – (It. lavoro vocazionale)] is difficult, but we must do it,” he said. “It is a challenge,” Pope Francis continued. “We need to be creative.”

(from Vatican Radio)



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