Forty-nine priests – 37 Diocesan, 11 Passionist and 1 Marist – attended the March 8, 2011 recollection in Sto. Niño Parish, Bula, General Santos City.
Fr. George Carin facilitated said recollection. Topic was “Priestly Formation”.
He said, quoting John Paul II’s “Pastores Dabo Vobis”: “The formation of future priests, both diocesan and religious, is considered by the Church as one of the most demanding and important tasks for the future of the evangelization of humanity” (n. 1).
He stressed that the vision of the Church shapes priestly formation. In the Philippines the visions of the Church are: a) Church of the Poor; b) Community of disciples. While the mission of the Church is renewed integral evangelization.
Foundations of ministerial priesthood are: 1) Trinitarian; 2) Christological; and 3) Ecclesiological.
The mystery of Trinitarian communion in missionary tension gives the priest his specific identity.
Priests are configured to Christ and are called to prolong Christ’s presence in the world as prophet, priest and king.
Priests minister on behalf of the Church.
Seminary formation today. The seminary fosters faith development. Seminarians should be taught to seek Christ in faithful meditation on the Word of God and in active participation in the sacred mysteries of the Church.
Characteristics of seminary formation (1930s – 1950s):
- Like an institutionalized military training designed to produce priest apart from society.
- “Cultic ministry”.
- Trained like Soldiers for God.
- Lived a regimented life.
- Restriction on reading materials.
Seminary formation (1960s – 1970s). Characteristics:
- Face of seminary started to change.
- Emergence of servant leader.
- Priest is now part of the community.
- No longer on the pedestal.
- Ministry is not purely cultic.
Pillars of seminary formation: 1) human; 2) spiritual; 3) intellectual; 4) pastoral
Formation enables a seminarian to grow in his personal identification with the person of Jesus Christ. It allows seminarian to build up commitment to prayer, to discern his vocation, to be diligent in his studies and zealous in his pastoral engagement.
What shall we do? 1) Pray. 2) Promote vocation to the priesthood. 3) Give witness to this vocation in our life as priests.
Source: Notes of Fr. Joseph Morallon