AMERICA/COLOMBIA – Archbishop Dal Toso: vocations in the areas to be evangelized are the “ripe fruit” of the first proclamation
AMERICA/COLOMBIA: Archbishop Dal Toso – Vocations in the areas that will be evangelized are “ripe fruit” from the first proclamation
Bogota (Agenzia Fides) – “Having local priests means giving a local face to the Church and making the message of the Gospel, valid for every culture, better understood”, said Archbishop Giampietro Dal Toso, President of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), who, on the afternoon of Friday, October 7, took part in the celebration for the sixtieth anniversary of the Colombian Intermissal Seminary “San Luis Beltrán” for the apostolic vicariates of Bogotà.
“The President of the PMS explained that the creation of a seminary for Apostolic Vicariates in this country had the goal of training local priests to accelerate the journey towards full maturity of these Christian communities. It is a sign that the Church is maturing everywhere by generating vocations for priestly ministry or consecrated life.
The Archbishop recalled the care of vocations on behalf the Bishops, whom he had met in the morning. He then focused on the fundamental importance formation of candidates for priesthood and recalled the decline in seminarians that didn’t spare even these territories.
“The Church is missionary in nature, as Pope Francis has suggested based on his predecessors,” said Pope Francis. The centrality and importance of the mission is even more evident in the territories represented here. The Archbishop said that there is no effective, deep and lasting evangelizing mission without the formation of future priests. The vitality of the Church’s mission and the vitality of her Church depend on the support and encouragement of priestly and religious callings. The formation of priests is therefore the core of evangelization.
The quality of future priests’ formation is equal to their witness in parishes, and, consequently to the quality Christian life of the faithful. This was the emphasis of the Archbishop who, at the end his speech, addressed words of encouragement to seminarians, sharing a thought by Benedict XVI in a volume of meditations about the priesthood (cf. Joseph Ratzinger / Benedikt XVI., Diener eurer Freude, Freiburg i.B. 2006, 108.), when he comments on the word of Christ who promises us one hundred for one: “We must have only the initial courage to give first one, like Peter, who on the word of the Lord goes out fishing again in the morning: he gives one and receives 100”.
The day ended with Vespers being recited and a moment to celebrate: Archbishop Dal Toso today will visit the headquarters for the Colombian PMS. (E.G.) (Agenzia Fides, 8/10/2022)