Pope Francis: Synodal journey ‘a challenge and task’ for American seminarians

 

Pope Francis met with seminarians, staff, and faculty of the Pontifical North American College in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace on Jan. 14, 2023. / Vatican Media. See CNA article for full slideshow.

Vatican City, Jan 14, 2023 / 09:45 am (CNA).

Pope Francis told American seminarians in Rome that they are called to take up the “challenge and task” of the synodal journey — of listening to the Holy Spirit and to one another — as they study to become priests.

The pope met with students, staff, and faculty of the Pontifical North American College (NAC) at the Vatican on the morning of Jan. 14.

“Your time here in Rome,” he said, “coincides with the synodal journey that the whole Church is presently undertaking, a journey that involves listening, to the Holy Spirit and to one another, in order to discern how to help God’s holy people live his gift of communion and become missionary disciples.”

“This is also the challenge and task you are called to take up as you walk together along the path that leads to priestly ordination and pastoral service,” the pope said in the Apostolic Palace.

Pope Francis met with seminarians, staff, and faculty of the Ponitifical North American College in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace on Jan. 14, 2023. Vatican Media
Pope Francis met with seminarians, staff, and faculty of the Ponitifical North American College in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace on Jan. 14, 2023. Vatican Media

The Pontifical North American College, founded in 1859, hosts seminarians and priests from the United States and Australia as they complete studies in Rome. Faculty and staff include priests, religious sisters, and lay people.

During the private audience, Francis also encouraged the seminarians to foster a daily relationship with Jesus by spending time in silence before the Eucharist.

“Over the course of your lives, and especially throughout this time of seminary formation, the Lord enters into a personal dialogue with you, asking what you are looking for and inviting you to ‘come and see,’ to speak with him from your hearts and give yourselves to him confidently in faith and love,” Pope Francis said.

“Doing so involves fostering a daily relationship with Jesus, one nourished especially by prayer, meditation on the word of God, the help of spiritual accompaniment, and listening to him in silence before the tabernacle,” he underlined. “Always remember this: listening in silence before the tabernacle.”

Pope Francis met with seminarians, staff, and faculty of the Ponitifical North American College in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace on Jan. 14, 2023. Vatican Media
Pope Francis met with seminarians, staff, and faculty of the Pontifical North American College in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace on Jan. 14, 2023. Vatican Media

The pope invited the seminarians to use their years in Rome to see the mystery of the unity of the Church, in which diverse people live the oneness of the faith.

“It is my hope that these experiences will help you develop that fraternal love capable of seeing the grandeur of our neighbor, of finding God in every human being, of tolerating the nuisances of life in common,” he said.

“For it is in these moments of familiar relationship with the Lord,” he continued, “that we can best hear his voice and discover how to serve him and his people generously and wholeheartedly.”


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3 Comments

  1. Regading Pope Francis and the Chuch in America, Pope Francis could not have given San Francisco Bishop Cordileone a better “California present” than making San Diego Bishop McElroy a Cardinal. That “California” present to San Cordileone was so personally thoughtful of Pope Francis.
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    Is McElroy being Cardinal a repudiation of some Bishops, certainly not Cordileone, and a metaphorical Papal slap across their faces, intended to be heard most by all priests? May priests consider such Bishops, certainly not Cordileone, to be Papal “PNG” or “Dead Bishops Walking” or an “Endangered Bishop Species,” causing priests to remember that saying when they think of their own future: “they don’t have the numbers, and the House always wins”; or perhaps that other saying: “don’t bet on losers?”
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    Will the future of such Bishops, certainly not Cordileone, be death by 1,000 Papal cut outs? Are the days of such Bishops, certainly not Cordileone, numbered by # 75, the age Bishops must offer their retirement to be accepted or rejected by Francis? Shall such Bishops, certainly not Cordileone, receive the greatest Papal cut out: retired at 75, never a Cardinal, and watch themselves be dusty antiques on the bottom back shelf of the Church? Thank God Cordileone is not and never shall be a “Dead Bishop Walking.”
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    Imagine the present that Francis shall give Cordileone at 75 after the present of McElroy as Cardinal.

  2. Regarding Francis and US Bishops, he has appointed 132 US Bishops younger than age 75, which is the age when they no longer can vote in the UCCB. There currently are 140 US Bishops younger than age 75, who were appointed before Francis. 12 of them are age 74, including Burke, and from large Diocese like Brooklyn, Newark and Philadelphia. 18 of them are age 73, including Neumann, DiNardo and Salazar, and from large dioceses like Los Angeles, Galveston-Houston and New Orleans. Of the 272 US Bishops younger than age 75, Francis’ current 132 Bishops shall become the majority 137 UCCB voting Bishops when Bishop Fitzgerald turns 75 on May 23. Francis has appointed 7 US Bishops ages 46 – 50; and 23 US Bishops ages 51-55. Expect future appointments of similar young Bishops, who shall vote for 20-25 years in the UCCB. Therefore, the days of the control of the USCCB by conservative Bishops are numbered. That shall become most evident in the 2024 UCCB elections when all of the now 30 age 73 and 74 Bishops appointed before Francis shall have turned age 75 and no longer shall be able to vote. These US “Francis Bishops” shall appoint “Francis Heads” of Seminaries, who shall appoint “Francis faculty,” who shall teach seminarians to become “Francis priests.”

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