.- Presiding at a Mass for the Jubilee Year of the Diocesan seminary, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary, Bishop Mario Moronta of San Cristobal, Venezuela, said seminarians should prepare themselves to be "guiding lights" for the men and women of today.
"One of the most important tasks of the Church's mission is that of the formation of priests," he said during his homily, and he underscored the desire of the Church in his diocese to foster more vocations to priesthood "in the service of God's people, our local Church and sister Churches."
Bishop Moronta said the Jubilee Year would emphasize three key ideas regarding seminary formation.
First, "the objective of the seminary is the formation of young seminarians so that they learn to conform themselves to Christ, Priest and Good Shepherd. Studies, human and spiritual formation, as well as pastoral formation, contribute to achieving this objective."
Second, "The seminary should be a living testimony of communion. A communion enriched by the grace of God, the communion of its members with themselves, their bishop and with the People of God and the universal Church."
Third, the priest should be "a servant capable of giving himself totally and completely to others for their salvation. The evangelical councils of poverty, chastity and obedience, in a priest, become like a guiding light for men and women, to whom he dedicates his life."
"Our seminary," Bishop Moronta concluded, "should foster the personal and communal experience of the values of the kingdom: poverty of spirit, purity of heart, fearlessness in the face of persecution for the sake of justice, meekness and humility of heart, being peacemakers."