Courses in Jerusalem Aim at Spiritual Renewal of Priests

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JERUSALEM, MARCH 9, 2005 ( The Vatican congregations for Clergy and for the Evangelization of Peoples are planning two courses of spiritual renewal in Jerusalem for priests from all over the world.

The first course runs July 15-Aug. 3, the second Jan. 21-Feb. 9.

«It is always good to pause in our life and discover what is our identification with Christ,» said Legionary Father Juan Solana, director of the pontifical Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, where the courses will be held.

«The new evangelization in the third millennium has its fulcrum in the holiness of the priest, and because of this, we wish to collaborate with priests in this course to renew the charism received by the imposition of hands,» he told ZENIT.

«With the passing of time, all priests can lose some of the radiance of their priestly life: at times because of exhaustion, or knocks in life, or people’s indifference; at other times because of health or family problems, etc.,» the priest said.

«Therefore, the need to be renewed is a law of life and I think that coming to the Holy Land, the living contact — without mediation — with the Gospel, in an atmosphere that is especially propitious for a fraternal and priestly environment, will be of special help for this end,» added Father Solana.

The pontifical institute, entrusted last November by John Paul II to the Legionaries of Christ, is close to the Holy Sepulcher. It houses the public library of the Pontifical Mission for Palestine and a modern auditorium.

«From the first moment we thought of a course centered on spiritual renewal, where prayer, contact with the Eucharistic Christ, rest and encountering oneself and other brother priests are the main part,» said Father Solana.

«It is not, therefore, a simple pilgrimage or a course in theological formation; it is a course of spiritual renewal,» he said.

«It is a course to renew the motivations that drove us to become priests, to renew our love for Christ, the Church and souls,» the priest added.

Course lectures will touch on priestly spirituality and the Bible. The courses’ official languages will be English, Italian and Spanish, with simultaneous translation.

Father Solana said these courses will be held every six months, and «we are planning other possible courses for seminarians, bishops, men and women religious and also for the laity.»

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