Asked if “there could be a diocese without a seminary,” Bishop Fernandez said, “A diocese without a seminary is a dead diocese or in danger of extension,” and he compared the situation to that of “a mother who no longer has any children: she continues to be a mother, but she needs to be accompanied to a good death.” He said he was joyful to be able to give the universal Church “many and holy priests.”
Bishop Fernandez defended the importance of minor seminaries, saying it is important that young people begin their priestly formation at an early age. “I am convinced that the important ideals of a person are forged around the age of 15. Their ideals are full of dreams and imagination, which afterwards will have to mature, but these ideals are an amazing driving force for all of life.”
“We confront vocational problems without hang-ups”
La Razon also interviewed the new bishop of Terrassa, where “there wasn’t even a physical place” for a seminary. Bishop Saiz Meneses, the first bishop of this new diocese, earmarked a donation for building a seminary that has now been open for over a year. The 13 candidates of the seminary had been studying at the seminary in Barcelona.
Asked about the increase in seminarians for his diocese, Bishop Meneses explained that the key is humility and trust in God, and therefore he asked for prayers for vocations and exhorted the infirm “to offer their sufferings for this intention.”
“At the same time, he revealed, we strive to pose the issue of vocations in a direct way and without hang ups. Just to name two specific aspects, I think it is very important that we truly believe that God continues calling young people to the priesthood, and it is also essential that we make the joy of a life committed to the Lord though this walk transparent.”