On Friday, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster signed the decree that officially established the Redemptoris Missionary Seminary. The signing took place during a meeting with the initiators and responsibles of the Neocatechumenal Way, Kiko Argüello, Carmen Hernández and the Fr. Mario Pezzi along with nearly 2,000 people.
The diocesan missionary “Redemptoris Mater” seminaries are erected by diocesan bishops, in agreement with the International Responsible Team of the Neocatechumenal 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 1967 document on priestly formation produced by the Congregation for Catholic Education.
All Redemptoris Mater seminaries are fully diocesan seminaries, whose seminarians have arrived at their vocation and the rediscovery of their baptism as lived through small Neocatechumenal communities
Westminster decided to take this step after more than 20 years of cooperation between the diocesan seminary Allen Hall and the Neocatechumenal Way. The diocese explained that “during all these years of cooperation, a huge growing in mutual trust and comprehension has taken place in the instruction of the candidates to priesthood, deeply appreciating the strength of the Neocatechumenal Way and its educational itinerary”.
The agreement established that the seminary, as all Redemptoris Mater seminaries, has a strong missionary character “to prepare priests with a vocation and Christian life nourished by the Neocatechumenal Way, ready to serve not only as priests of the Westminster diocese, but also to respond to the many invitations and petitions from the New Evangelization in countries all over the world.
In addition, this agreement also established the basis for “a generous participation of the Westminster’s diocese in the missio ad gentes, which is vital for the Neocatechumenal Way’s view, where the support of the Neocatechumenal Way’s families is essential”, the diocese explained in a communique.