Sao Paulo, Brazil, August 15, 2005. On August 8th, the
newly completed facilities of the Maria Mater Ecclesiae Seminary were
inaugurated with a solemn Mass presided over by Bishop Lorenzo
Baldisseri, Apostolic Nuncio in Brazil.
In his welcoming address, Bishop
Emilio Pignoli, bishop of Campo Limpo, recalled the history of
this seminary, starting from when it was first called for
by his Holiness Pope John Paul II in 1990. The
Maria Mater Ecclesiae Pontifical College in Rome was founded in
1991, and from the first moment it received numerous Brazilian
seminarians. In the year 1999, the Legionaries of Christ
launched a new project to respond to the urgent need
of forming priests in Brazil, as requested by his Holiness
John Paul II and more than 30 Brazilian bishops, headed
by the late Cardinal Lucas Moreira Neves.
That same year,
the first 13 seminarians, who came from various dioceses throughout
Brazil, were received in one of the buildings of the
Legion of Christ’s novitiate in the diocese of Aruja (Sao
Paulo), thus marking the beginning of the Maria Mater Ecclesiae
seminary. Now the seminary has its own facility, inaugurated August
|Bishop Emílio Pignoli, bishop of Campo Limpo, during the inauguration of the Maria Mater Ecclesiae Seminary.|
Those present at the inauguration ceremony included Fr.
Alvaro Corcuera, LC, general director of the Legion of Christ
and Regnum Christi; Bishop Emilio Pignoli, bishop of Campo Limpo,
where the seminary is now located; Fr. Manuel Aromir, LC,
territorial director for the Legionaries of Christ in Brazil; 20
bishops from various regions of Brazil; and 50 priests.
homily, Bishop Baldisseri said: “I am very happy to be
here today for the inauguration of this seminary. As a
priest, I am very grateful, and I find myself becoming
more and more convinced and enthusiastic. This is bringing to
mind wonderful memories from when I was a seminarian, as
well as a great sense of serenity for having received
a solid priestly formation so as to be able to
face the challenges of this ministry.
“With special affection, I
greet the priests of the Legionaries of Christ, who are
the ones responsible for this important work which is becoming
increasingly more solidified.”
Presently, the Mater Ecclesiae seminary in Brazil
has 117 seminarians and is directed by 8 Legionary priests,
who serve as formators and professors. The first deacons to
be formed all the way through are expected to be
ordained at the end of 2005.
Bishop Lorenzo Baldisseri wrote the
following in the seminary’s guestbook:
Campo Limpo (SP) 8-VIII-2005
My congratulations to
the superiors and seminarians of the Mater Ecclesiae Seminary on
this day of its official inauguration, with my best wishes
as you continue this great work of forming future priests,
who will be the new evangelizers of Brazil and the
whole world. I bring you the special blessing of the
Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.
Apostolic Nuncio in