Vienna (Agenzia Fides) - “The world needs priests because it needs Christ. If the world no longer has Christ it will degenerate. Therefore investment in the formation of priests is the best investment in the future of our society,” says Fr Leo Maasburg, national director of the Pontifical Mission Society in Austria (“Missio Austria”) in a statement sent to Fides.
Fr Maasburg announced the launch of the “Priests from three continents” collection, at the initiative of Missio, which will take place on 6 January 2011 throughout the Country. This initiative aims to ensure the “spiritual supply” from nations in the southern hemisphere. Each year the Pontifical Society supports more than 80,000 seminarians and novices around the world on their path to the priesthood.
“Material assistance can only ensure immediate survival, but they do not give meaning to life. Priests assist and view the person in an integral way and assist, as it were, with drinking water and holy water!” says Fr Maasburg.
In Countries in the southern hemisphere there is no shortage of vocations. In Africa, Asia and Latin America the number of requests for admission to seminaries is high. Often good candidates have to be rejected because they lack the funds for training and places to house them. In Europe there is, on average, a priest for every 3,525 people but the support for the formation of new priests is lacking, especially in countries where a greater number of priests is needed. In Oceania there is a priest for every 7,340 inhabitants, one in Latin America for every 8235, one in Africa for every 27,335 and in Asia one in 50,030. (MS) (Agenzia Fides 18/12/2010)