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Pope encourages US seminarians to listen to the Lord, walk together and offer witness

Pope Francis welcoming a group from Saint Mary's Seminary in the Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio in the United States (Photo credit: Vatican Media/Vatican News)

Pope Francis encouraged the US seminarians to listen to the Lord, walk together, and offer witness as the Church in its synodal journey and their journey for ordination.

The Pope, on Monday, met with the priests, deacons, seminarians, and staff from Saint Mary's Seminary in Cleveland, Ohio, celebrating their seminary's 175th founding anniversary. 

The Pope emphasized that listening is essential. This awareness invited them to meditate on the Lord's word, pray, be silent before the Tabernacle, and find spiritual accompaniment.

"Never forget the importance of placing yourselves before the Lord to hear what he wants to say to you. In fact, listening to God's voice deep within our hearts and discerning his will is indispensable for our interior growth, particularly when we encounter urgent and difficult tasks," the Pope insisted.

Concerning walking together, the Pope noted that seminary life helps to create this ministry-essential habit of prayer, and listening to the Lord helps us to respond to our faith so that they can teach and proclaim "the truth and beauty of the Gospel in an authentic and joyful way."

The Pope stressed the necessity of deepening the fraternal communion among seminarians, their Bishop, the local Church, including religious and lay people, and the global Church.

"We should recognize that we are part of one great people which has received God's promises as a gift, not as a privilege. In the same way, your vocation is a gift to be placed at the service of building up the body of Christ," the Pope said.

The Pope recalled listening to God and walking together as a witness to our faith. The Pope hoped the seminary formation would help them offer themselves totally "in celibate love and with an undivided heart, to God and his holy people."

"The Church needs your enthusiasm, generosity, and zeal in order to show everyone that God is always with us, in every circumstance of life," the Pope emphasized, "you will always be signs of a Church that goes forth, bearing witness to and sharing the merciful love of Jesus with all in the human family, especially the poor and those in need."

After Bishop Edward Charles Malesic of Cleveland Diocese opened with greetings, Pope Francis thanked God for the seminary's nearly two centuries of priestly formation "to assist God's holy people in living their call to be missionary disciples."

Bishop Amadeus Rappe, the first bishop of the Cleveland Diocese, established St. Mary's seminary of Cleveland Diocese in 1848. - With inputs from Vatican News


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