Beijing (Agenzia Fides) - At the end of the 2022-2023 academic year, 37 future Chinese Catholic priests graduated in theology in five seminaries in mainland China.
Among the 37 new graduates, 13 graduated from the National Seminary in Beijing, 12 from the Major Seminary of Hebei, 7 from the Major Seminary of Jilin, 3 from the Major Seminary of Shaanxi and 2 from the Major Seminary of Sichuan. In addition to the new theology graduates, seven seminarians received degrees in philosophy from the Philosophy Faculty of Beijing Seminary. Although there were no new graduates this academic year at Shanxi Major Seminary, central-southern China (formerly known as Wuchang Seminary), and Sheshan Seminary near Shanghai In recent years, in addition to the training of future priests, Chinese Catholic seminaries have also inaugurated theological and philosophical training courses open to nuns and lay people, in order to encourage the involvement of all the people of God in the mission of the proclamation of the Gospel. At the end of the academic year, 30 nuns graduated from Beijing National Seminary, 13 nuns and 4 lay people graduated from Hebei Major Seminary, 5 nuns from Shaanxi Seminary, 3 from the Theological and Philosophical Seminary of Jilin province.
The Shenyang Seminary solemnly celebrated the graduation of 41 catechists after 2 years of academic training. The quality of formation is a priority for all Seminaries. During the studies, the skills acquired by the seminarians in the fields of philosophy and theology are also evaluated through regular consultations. Philosophy courses cover both Chinese philosophy and Western philosophy. Local communities, under the direction of the bishop, offer spiritual and material support to seminarians during their formation. Since 2015, the Chinese state has recognized the civil validity of the baccalaureate certificate issued by seminaries. It also allows those who wish to pursue studies in subjects related to pastoral ministry at state universities to enter the academic world. It should be noted that in China there are also other places of formation authorized by the bishops which provide training for priests, men and women religious. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 11/7/2023)