ASIA/CHINA - The Seminary of Sheshan awards diplomas to 35 lay people

Wednesday, 10 July 2024 local churches   laity   seminaries  

Shanghai (Agenzia Fides) - The Seminary of Sheshan, in the diocese of Shanghai, celebrated the awarding of diplomas to 35 lay people on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. After a year of intensive study, they passed their exams in the subjects "Introduction to the New Testament", "Introduction to the Old Testament" and "Formation of the Faith in the Family". Father Wu Jianlin, Vicar of the Diocese of Shanghai, congratulated the students on their graduation. He encouraged the lay faithful, reminding them that the diploma is only a beginning. In the life of faith there are no "graduates": everyone is in a process of continuous formation to become ever more like the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. Together with Father Lan Xiaopeng, Vice-Rector of the Seminary, the graduates planted a pomegranate tree in the Seminary garden as a souvenir of the course.
The one-year course, which opened on September 2, 2023, is the first educational program of its kind for lay people that the Sheshan Seminary has established in recent years and was strongly requested by Bishop Joseph Shen Bin of Shanghai himself. As Father Lan Xiaopeng, Vice-Rector of the Seminary, said at the opening of the course: "The training of lay people is part of the teaching of the Seminary in Sheshan. Especially in the Diocese of Shanghai, since the new Bishop Shen Bin took office, the work of the Seminary has become increasingly comprehensive. The educational offer for lay people is a task to which Bishop Shen and the Administrative Committee of the Diocese attach particular importance.
The Seminary of the Diocese of Shanghai in Sheshan was officially opened in 1982 with the first Rector, Monsignor Aloyisius Jin Luxian, initially with few resources, but with much faith and hope. As Bishop Jin himself said, "these young priests 'Made in Sheshan' continued the growth of the vocation." And not only in Shanghai, but in six provinces in the southeast of mainland China. Since 1989, foreign professors have also been teaching at the Seminary. And since 1993, young priests trained abroad have been the main force in the teaching staff. The library, called the "Library of Charity" by Bishop Jin, was founded in 1986 thanks in large part to the late American Jesuit missionary Father Edward Malatesta. The library, which follows the classification of the American Library of Congress, includes, in addition to books on Catholic theology and philosophy, history, ethics, spirituality and liturgy, various editions of Catholic encyclopedias, classical authors and authoritative Catholic periodicals, as well as several series of microfilms and documentary material, among others.
Finally, the seminary also publishes its own magazine, "The Vineyard". (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 10/7/2024)