Archbishop Juan Jose Asenjo called on priests and seminarians to reverse “the vocational winter” by encouraging young people who feel the Lord’s call to respond with generosity and with the conviction that He will fulfill all of their expectations.
“It is no secret that the Church in the West and in Spain as well is currently experiencing a long ‘vocational winter.’ We need more priests in Seville to adequately minister to our communities,” the archbishop wrote in a letter for the Day for Seminarians.
Archbishop Asenjo encouraged young people to fix “their gaze on the open side of Christ, who died for us on the cross. … Perhaps you will discover a call of love that has been sent directly to your heart, to follow Him with generosity through the path of a priestly vocation.”
He also recalled the importance of seminary formation, and said formation directors and professors should carry out their work “with renewed enthusiasm, maintaining the level of demand and permanent fidelity to the guidance of the Church.”
“We must be committed to the formation of future priests through our prayer and our financial contribution, so that no seminarian is prevented from being a priest because of a lack of resources,” the archbishop wrote.
Archbishop Ansejo also referred to the Year of Priests, and said priests as well as seminarians should strive for the “interior renewal” of which Pope Benedict XVI has spoken.
The theme of his letter, “The Priest, Witness of God’s Mercy,” is a call to priests to embrace the same mindset as Jesus Christ, the eternal high Priest.”
“Among these sentiments mercy stands out, which is that particular kind of life that knows how to show pity and how to react to the suffering, poverty, injustice, spiritual misery and sin of those who journey by our side,” he said.