Addressing a national conference of major seminary rectors, an Indian cardinal said that seminary training must be more synodal.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, exhorted major seminary rectors in his keynote address to the XXI General Body meeting of the Association of Rectors of Major Seminaries (ARMS) of the CCBI Commission for Vocations Seminaries, Clergy, and Religious (VSCR) that seminary formation must be more synodal because synodality of the church has its foundation in the church as the people of God, where every baptized person.
From November 22–25, as many as 75 rectors from different major seminaries in India gathered at Seva Kendra (a social service center), Kolkata, to deliberate on the theme, "Synodality in Seminary Formation."
Cardinal Gracias officiated at the inaugural Mass, which was also attended by Archbishop Thomas D'Souza of Kolkata, Bishop Udumala Bala of Warangal, the patron of ARMS, and the rectors.
The inaugural session began with a prayer dance performed by the students of Presentation Convent School, Kolkata.
Father Richard Britto, president of ARMS, welcomed the dignitaries and the rectors.
Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of Kolkata and Bishop Bala were welcomed with a shawl together with Msgr. Dominic Gomez, Vicar General and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Kolkata; Father Charles Leon, executive secretary of ARMS; and Father Anthony Rodrick, the director of Seva Kendra.
Father Leon presented the highlights of the XX ARMS meeting held in Bangalore in November 2021.
The presidential address was delivered by Bishop Bala. After lighting the lamp, Archbishop D’Souza delivered his inaugural address.
Father Rodrick gave a brief history and explained the present functioning of Seva Kendra, and Father Kommareddy Marreddy, vice president of ARMS, proposed the vote of thanks.
The four-day sessions include two facilitation talks by Dr. Thumma Mariadas Reddy and two dialogical sessions between rectors and lay stakeholders in formation.
As part of the national conference's deliberations, a plan of action for paradigm shifts in seminary formation will be developed.
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