Seminary Leaders Get Chance to Be Students

Formators for Future Priests Focus on Psychology

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LEGGIUNO, Italy, JULY 29, 2010 ( The 20th annual international conference for seminary formators brought participation from 54 dioceses, as the priest-educators focused on psychology in the formation of seminarians.

Almost 80 formators from 29 nations participated in the course this summer, held in Leggiuno, and organized by the Sacerdos Institute of Rome’s Regina Apostolorum university.

During the month-long range of activities, Monsignor Tony Anatrella, a psychoanalyst and consultor for the Pontifical Councils for the Family and for Health Care Ministry, offered a three-day seminar on psychology in the formation of seminarians.

One participant, Mexican Father Roberto Cordero, welcomed the psychology seminar. «Monsignor Anatrella has offered us, with great competence, very valuable tools to take advantage of the elements that psychology gives us for emotional formation and the selection of future priests in our seminaries,» he said.

A spiritual director for the Oblates of the Virgin Mary in Cebu, Philippines, commented on the fellowship the international convention provides. Oblate Father Lino Estadilla said: «The fraternal bonds between priests transcend races, geography and cultures. This reality was very tangible in this course. When you meet another priest, you accept him cordially. It is a mystery, a manifestation of our unity in the Priesthood of Christ.»

Priests came from countries ranging from the United States to Chile, Switzerland to Zimbabwe, Romania to Pakistan. They were given the option to begin the conference with Ignatian spiritual exercises.

«We return to our dioceses really enriched by the methodological lines and the quality contents we received in the course, but also because of the climate of intense ecclesial communion and profound internalizing of prayer that we have breathed during these weeks,» said Italian Father Cesare di Pietro.
Father Peter Rugora, rector of a major regional seminary of Zimbabwe, stressed that what helped him most in the course was to discover the pastoral meaning of the studies and of the whole priestly formation.

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