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Turn to Jesus (Article)

18th International Course for Seminary Formators
Since 1991, a total of over 1,300 priests from 93 countries and 520 dioceses have participated in this course, which responds to one of the Church’s most urgent needs.

Sacerdotes participantes en el XVIII curso para formadores de seminarios.
The priests participating in the course for seminary formators.

Rome, August 13, 2008. The 18th International Course for Seminary Formators was held from June 26 to July 31, 2008 in the Domus Pacis et Vitae Center for Spirituality in Leggiuno, Italy. The Legion of Christ developed this month-long course to help bishops provide ongoing formation for those who are dedicated to the transcendent task of forming future priests.

On this occasion, 83 priests participated, hailing from 30 countries: Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Central African Republic, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Philippines, India, Iraq, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Republic of Congo, Romania, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, United States, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.

The participants also included 2 diocesan vicars general, 29 rectors, 8 vice rectors, 14 spiritual directors, 5 vocational directors, and 25 other formators with various responsibilities. Fr Roberto González, LC, preached 8 days of spiritual exercises. The professors giving the course included: Fr Francisco Mateos, LC, who directed the course, and Legionary Fathers Anthony Bannon, Alberto Mestre, Michael Ryan, Owen Kearns, William Brock, Jesús Villagrasa, and Paolo Scarafoni.

The invited speakers this year were Bishop Tony Anatrella, a French priest and consultant of the Pontifical Councils for the Family and for Health; and an Italian priest and professor of Christology at the Pontifical Regina Apostolorum College in Rome, Don Mauro Gagliardi, who gave a three-day seminar on the topic of liturgy. Bishop Luigi Stucchi, the auxiliary bishop of Milan, also visited, giving a few
Concelebración de los sacerdotes en Como, Italia.
The priests concelebrate a Mass in Como, Italia.
words of motivation to the priests and taking the time to greet them personally.

Since the course was founded in 1991, over 1,300 priests from 93 countries and 520 dioceses have attended. The course responds to one of the Church’s most transcendent needs: well-formed seminary formators. Pope Benedict commented on this need in his recent meeting with priests and seminarians in Bridisi, Italy:

“On the one hand, [the seminary] expresses the present state of a Diocese, understood as the culmination of work undertaken by priests and parishes in the area of the pastoral care of youth, in teaching the catechism, in the religious animation of families. On the other hand, the Seminary is a precious investment for the future, because it ensures that through patient and generous work the Christian community will not be deprived of shepherds of souls, of teachers of faith and of zealous guides and witnesses of Christ´s charity. Besides being the place of your formation, dear seminarians, true hope of the Church, this seminary of yours is also a place for the up-dating and continuing formation of youth and adults who wish to make their contribution to the cause of the Kingdom of God. The careful formation of seminarians and the continuing formation of priests and other pastoral workers is a primary concern of your Bishop, to whom God has entrusted the mission of guiding the People of God who live in your City as a wise pastor.”  (June 15, 2008)

For more information, formators and their bishops can send an e-mail to



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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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