The Neocatechumenal Way recently finished a gathering of seminarians in Italy, which saw the participation of 357 new seminarians from around the world. During the event, the establishment of seven new Redemptoris Mater Diocesan Missionary Seminaries was announced. There are now 100 of these seminaries around the world, on every continent.
The new seminaries are present in Philadelphia (USA), Vancouver (Canada), Belém (Brazil), Carupano (Venezuela), Kampala (Uganda), Uzhgorod (Ukraine) and Campobasso (Italy).
During the gathering, the 357 youth were assigned among the 100 seminaries, in which, they will begin their formation and study for the ministry of service of the New Evangelization. Participating at the convivence were Cardinal Christoph Schönborn and various bishops, among them Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, Bishop Jaime Villarroel of Carupano, Bishop Milan Shashik of Uzhgorod.
The statutes of the Christian initiation for adults, approved by the Holy See in 2008, indicated that Neocatechumenal Way, as an itinerary of catechesis, as well as a “means to foster vocations to the priesthood and of particular consecration to God in the different forms of religious and apostolic life and to enkindle in the heart of individuals their special missionary vocation.”
“For this reason, it is a tool at the service of the bishops for the Christian formation of candidates to the presbyterate,” a communique from the Neocatechumenal Way stated.
A Specific and Basic Element of their Formative Itinerary
The diocesan missionary “Redemptoris Mater” Seminaries are erected by diocesan bishops, in agreement with the International Responsible Team of the Way and are governed by the current norms for the formation and incardination of diocesan clerics and in accordance with their own statutes, in fulfillment of the Ratio fundamentalis institutionis sacerdotalis.
The statues of the Neocatechumenal Way state: “In them the candidates for the priesthood find in participation in the Neocatechumenal Way, a specific and basic element of their formative itinerary and, at the same time, are prepared for a “genuine presbyteral choice of service to the entire people of God in the fraternal communion of the presbyterate.”
“In a moment of vocational crisis present around the world, the Neocatechumenal Way remembers the words of John Paul II during the VI Symposium of the Council of European Bishops Conference in 1985, in which he confirmed that the evangelization should be initiated invoking the Spirit and searching wherever the Spirit blows,” the communique concluded.
“Some symptoms of the breath of the Spirit are certainly present today in Europe. To find them, sustain them, and develop them, it is necessary to abandon the atrophied schemes to arrive there where life begins, there where we see the fruits of life are produced according to the Spirit,” Blessed John Paul II said during the 1985 Symposium.