that more than 200 seminarians are currently studying for the Madrid
archdiocese, the cardinal emphasized that “the number and generosity of
our seminarians proves that the Lord continues to call men to the
apostolic priesthood, despite the progressive secularism of the
dominant culture and the secularist attempts to rid our people of their
Christian roots and values.”
“Our prayer to
the Master of the harvest to continue sending workers to his harvest is
not in vain, nor sterile is our cooperation with the grace of God to
bring to fruition the vocational seeds that are sown with ecclesial
rigor and evangelical care in the Christian life,” the cardinal added.
youth ministry programs that don’t lead young people to “a personal,
living and cordial encounter with Jesus Christ, so that they can open
themselves to his will and respond generously to the Christian
said that “Seminary Day” is an opportunity to pray for seminarians and
to express spiritual and economic support for their commitment to
Christ and mankind. It’s also a chance to make the faithful,
especially families, aware of the greatness of the priestly vocation
and the urgent need to promote it among children and young people.
He called the
increase in priestly vocations an “eloquent sign of the fecundity of
Christian life in communities and Christian groups and of the real
appreciation of their members for this ministry.” He questioned
whether the shortage of vocations in other parts of Europe might not be
due to the abandonment of the Christian roots of the continent and to
the lack of apostolic vigor.
a letter to mark “Seminary Day” in Spain on March 19th, Cardinal
Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid, noted that despite
growing secularism in the dominant culture, vocations to the priesthood
continue to rise.