Vatican City, Oct 8, 2003 / 22:00 pm
In order to create a true community of disciples of the Lord, priests and bishops must prepare lay people with solid catechesis and train future priests to be holy and see their vocation as more than just a ‘career’, Pope John Paul II told a group of Filipino bishops today.
“One of the major contributions the Church can make in guaranteeing a solid preparation of the laity is to ensure that seminaries and religious houses are training future priests to be dedicated disciples of the Word and Sacrament,” he said.
The Filipino Bishops from the Provinces of Caceres, Capiz, Cebu, Jaro and Palo met in Rome this past week for their Ad Limia visit. This was the second of three groups of bishops from the Philippines who are making a pilgrimage to the Vatican.
Training future priests is “a complex process that begins with the proper selection of candidates,” said the pope. “In this regard, I recommend that you and your priests actively search for good, pious and well-balanced young men for the priesthood and challenge them to be not afraid ‘to put out into the deep’ for a catch of inestimable value,” he said.