Saturday, 8 January 2011

The world needs priests until the end of time

Pope Benedict and the seminarians of England and Wales, Oscott

A few months ago, Pope Benedict composed a letter to seminarians the world over. Interestingly, the Spanish media reported that the letter was inspired by the Pope's visit to Oscott. I, for one, am happy to accept that as fact. 

There is so much beauty in this letter, so please read it, following the link above. The Pope has written like a pastor, and for me, reading this letter when it was faxed through to Oscott in October, I felt like it had come from a parish priest, talking intimately to his seminarian, reflecting on his own experiences. 

It is so beautiful, in fact, that I have added a new tag-line to the title page of the blog, with a quotation from the introductory paragraph. 

"The world needs priests, today, tomorrow and always, until the end of time."

There has also appeared on the right-hand column, a prayer for seminarians, which originates in the diocese of Corpus Christi in Texas, but I'm sure it works for East Anglia too, and, indeed, beyond:

O Lord Jesus Christ, great High Priest, I pray that You call many worthy souls to Your holy priesthood.
Enlighten the Bishop in the choice of candidates, the Spiritual Director in molding them, and the professors in instructing them.
Lead the seminarians daily in Your unerring footsteps; so that they may become priests who are models of purity, possessors of wisdom and heroes of sacrifice; steeped in humility and aflame with love for God and man; apostles of Your glory and sanctifiers of souls.

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