VATICAN - Cardinal Filoni to the seminarians in Owerri: prepare to be the heralds of the New Evangelization

Friday, 9 November 2012

Owerri (Agenzia Fides) - In the chapel of the Seminary of Owerri dedicated to Mary "Sedes Sapientiae" (Seat of Wisdom), which is "the heart of all those Dioceses and Congregations that send their seminarians here to be prepared for priesthood" the Prefect of the Missionary Congregation, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, presided this morning the Concelebration of Mass on the feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran. In his homily the Cardinal recalled what Benedict XVI said in the Motu Proprio "Porta Fidei", "it is the gift of the Holy Spirit that makes us fit for mission and strengthens our witness," and urged formators, professors and seminarians, to try to be "as open as possible to the guidance of the Holy Spirit" to order to respond adequately to human expectations.
"The vocation to become or be a priest - the Cardinal said - is not a choice that anyone of us has made, but it is a call from the Lord himself which we accepted and responded to with our 'yes' ... the work of the seminary is to help you experience the action of the Holy Spirit and to understand the things of the Spirit of God. You must enter into an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit, in order that the Lord’s intentions for you may become clear."
Continuing his homily, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples stressed that "the Seminary must be a school of wisdom and holiness," and that the years of formation are about preparing the "heralds of the New Evangelization," who through new methods and renewed enthusiasm, present the Gospel message "not about a story or an idea or an ideology, but about an event, a person, namely Jesus Christ who died and on the third day rose again." The Seminary formation is built on four pillars: the human, the academic, the spiritual and the pastoral. "Each is important," said Cardinal Filoni, who focused in particular on the importance of human formation and maturity, "to become a bridge for others in meeting Christ."
"If people listen to us - said Cardinal Filoni - it will not be because we wear a collar or because we think that we are important people, but they will listen to us only because we are witnesses of the one whom we profess as our Lord and Master, namely Jesus Christ. To this end, the seminary community must be a place where the faith in its fullness and authenticity is professed, celebrated, lived and prayed. Let all understand that Faith grows when it is lived."
Before encouraging the seminarians to follow the Lord Jesus without making reservation, and to entrust them to the maternal protection of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, the Cardinal stressed that "to be a Christian is a gift" and "to be called to follow the Lord is a privilege" , therefore "we must not be afraid in offering one’s life to his Church." (SL) (Agenzia Fides 09/11/2012)