The increase in the number of men determined to become priests opens many new challenges. The main one is how to prepare them for their vocation, a task for the Bishop of each diocese and the directors of the seminaries. The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross is trying to help these directors of our future Priests, and has created a specialized center to help "train the trainers."
Ukrainian seminaries are having to turn away up to half of the young men seeking to become priests due to a lack of space. Bishop Jaroslav Pryriz reported to Aid to the Church in Need that in some places, there are three candidates vying for every place in the seminary. He stated that many young men are attracted to the priesthood because of the examples they see of living a challenging vocation: "When they see good priests, and when they see the Church living out the social gospel, it inspires them."
In 1941, a 20-year-old Karol Wojtyla was working at a stone quarry after the government closed Jagiellonian University where he studied philosophy. He returned from work on Feb. 18 to find that his father, also named Karol, had died of a heart attack. His sister had died before his birth, his mother died when he was a young boy and his older brother also lost his life six years earlier to scarlet fever. He was alone. “And this,” explained Gian Franco Svidercoschi, a close friend of JPII, “brought about a change, or perhaps it pushed him harder toward that which he already felt inside, that is, to become a priest.”
There are currently around 800,000 consecrated religious worldwide. Each of these religious have decided to give up everything and dedicate themselves to God - but each would have come to this decision for very different and personal reasons. Watch this video to listen to the stories from 3 very different women, who have chosen the religious life.
Pope Benedict XVI is underlining the necessity for every member of the Church to promote religious vocations. This was one of the points emphasized by the Pope in a message for the 48th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which will be celebrated May 15 on the theme of "Proposing Vocations in the Local Church."
Even in the midst of the upheaval of the Protestant Reformation in Germany, St. Peter Canisius knew how to defend Catholic doctrine without launching personal attacks on those who disagreed, Pope Benedict XVI said. This great Saint knew how to "harmoniously combine fidelity to dogmatic principles with the respect due to each person," visit this article to read more!
During the general audience this week, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about St. Peter Canisius, a Jesuit priest who dedicated his life to theological training of priests. The Pope used him as an example to remind all clergy to be consistent with what they preach.
While ordaining five bishops — two Vatican diplomats and three secretaries of Vatican congregations — Pope Benedict XVI said the prelates were called to help people recognize and respond to their yearning for holiness and goodness:
The Internet can be a valuable tool for Catholic education and evangelization, and its proper use should be encouraged in seminaries as well as other church institutions, Pope Benedict XVI said. He also added that the Congregation for Catholic Education was working on a document titled "Internet and Formation in Seminaries" - so watch this space for the full report when it's released!
Hundreds of members from different religious orders attended an evening ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica with the Pope. The occasion was the feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day for Consecrated Life.
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