Archbishop Fiorenza said that the Year of the Priesthood is a reflection on the greatness of the priesthood and the new dedication will bring God’s graces on those who serve.
Lay people are a great gift to priests because priesthood is only effective when priests place themselves in the service of others. This helps priests to gain in holiness and gain a greater knowledge of Jesus.
Bishop Fiorenza was impressed with how truly good out lay people are. They are involved with the church in many different and extraordinary ways. The people are the real treasure of the church.
Bishop Fiorenza thanked the Serrans for all they do for the church, and he then passed the microphone to Fr. Brendan Cahill, Rector of St. Mary Seminary.
St. Mary Seminary, established in 1901, exists for the personal, spiritual, academic and pastoral preparation of men for the Roman Catholic priesthood. Candidates for the diocesan priesthood reside atat St. Mary Seminary and are involved in an extensive program of priestly formation, based on the Program of Priestly Formation of the U.S. Catholic Bishops.
Fr. Cahill expanded on the Year of the Priest and its goals, which are to obtain the grace of God and manifest it in their lives. A priest is a man in love with people whom he serves in so many ways. Love is the art ofthe ministry, seeing what is positive in others.
He then went on to tell about what is happening at the seminary. There are 88 seminarians this year. Interestingly, 44 are under the age of 40, 44 are above the age of 40. Six seminarians are over age 50. An average of 15 priests are ordained each year.
Quite exciting news.