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Benedict XVI Greets the Students of the Pontifical Maria Mater Ecclesiae College
A group of 220 seminarians and formators welcomed the Pope’s greeting and blessing at the start of a new school year.

Los 64 seminaristas de nuevo ingreso hicieron una visita inicial a la Basílica de San Pedro.
The incoming class of 64 seminarians made an initial visit to St Peter’s Basilica.

Rome, October 13, 2008. In the general audience on October 1, Pope Benedict’s traditional greeting to pilgrims included a special welcome and blessing to the students of the Pontifical Maria Mater Ecclesiae International College

About 220 people, including seminarians and formators, welcomed the Pope’s greeting and blessing:

“Saluto i Seminaristi del Collegio Mater Ecclesiae, assicurando un ricordo nella preghiera perché possano rispondere con generosità e fedeltà alla chiamata del Signore.” (I greet the seminarians from Mater Ecclesiae College, assuring them of my prayers so that they will be able to respond generously and faithfully to the Lord’s call.)

The Pontifical Maria Mater Ecclesiae College begins its school year with 64 seminarians from 42 dioceses. The young men come from Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, India, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Spain, and Vietnam. This is the first year that young men have come to the seminary from France.

During the 2007/2008 school year, the college received two special awards. The first award was bestowed by the Acton Institute, an ecumenical think-tank that seeks to integrate Judeo-Christian truths with free-market economic principles. Three students won prizes for research papers applying the social doctrine of the Church to specific situations in their native countries.

The second award was granted in May, for the college’s outstanding participation in the Clericus Cup, an inter-seminary sports tournament in Rome sponsored by the Italian Sports Center with the cooperation of the “The Church and Sports” section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. The competition brings together 16 teams from seminaries in and around Rome, including a special team made up of Swiss Guards. Maria Mater Ecclesiae’s teams won first place in soccer and ranked third in basketball.

The college’s most important “prize,” however, is the grace of forming many new priests for the Church. Founded by the Legion of Christ in 1991, the Pontifical Maria Mater Ecclesiae College has grown significantly over the years, and has rendered an important service to bishops of many dioceses. Since 1991, over 500 of its past students have gone on to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders in their native countries and are now working pastorally in their home dioceses.

For more information about the Pontifical Maria Mater Ecclesiae College, visit the Italian-language web page or read an article about its foundation and history.



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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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