Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Seminarian Spotlight Launch Celebrating St Charles Borromeo Patron of Seminarians.

As today is the feast day of St Charles Borromeo we thought it would be a very timely opportunity to launch our new part of the blog

Our Seminarian Spotlight.

St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584) is called Father of the clergy – he is the Patron of many things one being Patron of Seminarians: This link takes you to is an interesting article that offers more insight into St Charles's self sacrifice and immovable strength when it came to the correct moral decision he had to make in Church matters, he accomplished much during the Council of Trent!

As spiritual mothers we also have a necessary requirement to pray for our young men who have offered their lives to Christ in the fullest way; to give themselves wholly to his spouse the Church as their spouse.

We have been contacted by seminarians from all over the world asking for prayers for their formation, their studies, their continual discernment and their future priestly ministries. We now have a place where we can share our support for them by offering prayers, links, stories, hopefully requests from seminarians for specific prayer intentions and much more.

We unfortunately have to limit each person to three or four prayer requests for specific seminarians. If you would like to be more general and offer a seminary or a link to the seminary where the person you want to pray for is studying then that may be more helpful and we can spread our prayers further. Contact us and we will add them to our Seminarian Spotlight or Seminarian links Email us here.

We will offer links to interesting sites and blogs dedicated to our priests in formation, we will add interesting stories of seminaries and maybe a few special guest writers here on the blog sharing their stories or adding advice and inspiration for young seminarians and us all. We’ll keep you posted on this exciting new initiative with a regular reminder post.

"If we wish to make any progress in the service of God we must begin every day of our life with new eagerness. We must keep ourselves in the presence of God as much as possible and have no other view or end in all our actions but the divine honour."

St Charles Borromeo

offers some wise and beautiful words to Seminarians and Priests:

"My brothers, you must realize that for us churchmen nothing is more necessary than meditation. We must meditate before, during and after everything we do. The prophet says: I will pray, and then I will understand. When you administer the sacraments, meditate on what you are doing. When you celebrate Mass, reflect on the sacrifice you are offering. When you pray the Office, think about the words you are saying and the Lord to whom you are speaking. When you take care of your people, meditate on the Lord's blood that has washed them clean. In this way, all you do becomes a work of love. This is the way we can easily overcome the countless difficulties we have to face day after day, which, after all, are part of our work: in meditation we find the strength to bring Christ to birth in ourselves and in other men." (Office of Readings, November 4)

The Holy Father Speaks:

Here is an interesting and insightful article for seminarians posing some fascinating questions to Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI on formation; his own path during his seminary life, seminarians close to ordination, the temptation to careerism and more. Worth a read!

Venerable Pope Pius XII To Seminarians:

On the 24Th of June, 1939, His Holiness Pius XII delivered the following speech from a balcony of the Vatican, to the assembled students of seminaries, colleges, and institutes of both the secular and regular clergy of all nationalities, who are being trained for the priesthood in the Eternal City.

Here are some excerpts from that speech:

"You are the light of the world," said Christ to the Apostles (Matt. V, 14). Light enlightens; the sun gives warmth. Behold your destiny, the purpose assigned to the Catholic priesthood to be the supernatural sun to enlighten the minds of men with the truth of Christ, to inflame their hearts with the love of Christ. And to this same destiny and assigned purpose the preparation and training for the priesthood must also correspond.

If you are to be the light of truth, which comes from Christ, you must yourselves be first illumined with that truth. It is for this that you are devoting yourselves to sacred studies. If you would enkindle men's souls with the charity of Christ, you must first glow with that same charity yourselves; this is the purpose of your religious and ascetical training.

We thoroughly approve and recommend that the ancient wisdom be brought into accord, if need be, with the new discoveries of scholarship; that there be free discussion of points on which reputable students of the Angelic Doctor commonly argue; that fresh resources be drawn from history for the better understanding of the text of Saint Thomas. Let no private person "set himself up as teacher in the Church" (Benedict XV, AAS 6-576); nor let anyone "require of others more than is required of all by the Church herself who is the teacher and mother of all" (Pius XI, quoted in CANON LAW DIGEST, Vol. 1, P. 669; AAS 15-309); finally, let there be no encouragement of useless dissensions.

But, that your education may be abundantly fruitful, it is necessary, dear young men, and We earnestly exhort you to this, that the knowledge which you draw from your courses be not directed merely to the passing of examinations, but that it leave a permanent stamp upon your minds never to be effaced, which will enable you, when the need arises, to express in speech or writing whatever serves to propagate Catholic truth and to bring men to Christ.

The priestly office demands of you, We may say, extraordinary sacrifices, among them that central and complete sacrifice of self to the service of Christ by celibacy. If any find themselves unable to keep that obligation, We beg them to withdraw from the seminary and go elsewhere, where they may live a good and useful life, whereas in the priesthood they would be in danger of losing their souls and of bringing discredit upon the Church.

As for those who have already entered or are about to enter the priestly state, We exhort them to make their consecration complete and generous. Take care that you be not surpassed in generosity by countless laymen who in these days patiently bear all sorts of hardships for the glory of God and the faith of Christ; in this combat you must show them the way by your example; by your labours and devotion you must win for them and for all men divine grace in life and in death.

Your priestly apostolate enlightened with divine truth and fired with the love of Christ, in the midst of the cruel upheavals of a world which is a stranger to truth and love in the midst of difficulties and hardships-which are, as it were the privileges of all who labour in the apostolate, accompanying them everywhere as by a kind of natural necessity-will bear abundant fruit for the salvation of souls; and it will also, with God's grace, bring that happy consolation with which the holy Apostle of the Gentiles was filled when he exclaimed: "By Christ cloth our comfort abound" (11 Cor. 1, 5).

God alone knows the ways by which His divine Providence shall lead each one of you, the ups and downs of your lives, the sufferings that await you in rocky and thorny paths. But there is one definite certainty crowning the life of every priest imbued with the truth and love of Christ-hope in Him "who hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Col. XV, 57).

In whom then should this certainty of supernatural victory be more deeply rooted than in you, who at the tombs of the Apostles and the catacombs of the martyrs have imbibed the spirit which has renewed the human race and which even now reminds us that the promises of Jesus Christ are still valid? To you therefore, beloved sons, We earnestly repeat what Saint Paul in his joy and confidence of the fruit of his apostolate exclaims:

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast and unmovable; always abounding in the work of the Lord".

Prayers for Seminarians

Daily Prayer for a Seminarian
Until his Ordination to the Priesthood

O Jesus, Eternal High Priest,

I offer You through Your Immaculate Mother Mary,

Your own Precious Blood, in all the Masses throughout the world, as petition for graces for all seminarians, Your future priests, especially for............

Give them humility, meekness, prudence, and a burning zeal for soul. Fill their hearts with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Teach them to know and love the church, that they may always and everywhere speak, act, and think with her, the glorious spouse of Christ.

Teach them generosity and detachment from worldly goods; but above all, teach them to know You and to love the One and Only Eternal Priest. good Shepherd of Souls, hear this my prayer for saintly priests.


Prayer for a Seminarian

God our Father, You have chosen Your Son, Jesus Christ, to reveal Yourself to us. You
have chosen Your Church to show us Your love through Him.

You have chosen ___________, your son, to be a priest as a sign of that love to Your people.

We pray that the Holy Spirit continue to fill him with Your peace and joy as he prepares for the holy priesthood.

We pray that through his priesthood he may proclaim the wonder of Your faithfulness and love to all through Jesus Christ our Lord!


Prayer for Vocations of Pope John Paul II

Lord Jesus, as You once called the first disciples to make them fishers of men, let your sweet invitation continue to resound: Come, follow Me!

Give young men the grace of responding quickly to Your voice. Support your bishops, priests and consecrated people in their apostolic labour.

Grant perseverance to our seminarians and to all those who are carrying out the ideal of a life totally consecrated to Your service.

Awaken in our community a missionary eagerness. Lord, send workers to your harvest and do not allow humanity to be lost for the lack of pastors, missionaries and people dedicated to the cause of the Gospel.

Mary, Mother of the Church, the model of every vocation, help us to say "yes" to the Lord Who calls us to cooperate in the divine plan of salvation.


"If you are to be the light of truth, which comes from Christ,
you must yourselves be first illumined with that truth"

Pope Pius XII

Click over here for the First Thursday reminder and the indulgences connected to this day in the Year of the Priest.

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