News archive 2010

Sixteen new seminarians commence priesthood studies for Irish dioceses

PRESS RELEASE
22 August 2010

Sixteen new seminarians commence priesthood studies for Irish dioceses

– please see below table of seminarians by diocese
Today sixteen men begin formal studies for the priesthood for Irish dioceses. Covering a wide range of ages – from the late twenties up to early sixties – and with an array of life experience, the new seminarians can look forward to a concentrated period of studies in the four principal areas of priestly formation, namely at a human, spiritual, pastoral, and intellectual level.
Ten seminarians will pursue their studies at the national seminary in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth; four in St Malachy’s College, Belfast; one in the Irish College in Rome and one seminarian begins his studies in the Royal English College, Valladolid, in Spain.
Commenting on the intake of new seminarians, Father Patrick Rushe, Ireland’s National Co-ordinator for Diocesan Vocation Directors said “The new seminarians represent a great hope for all our future. As these men step forward we are witnessing the continuation of the work of bringing the good news of Jesus’ message of healing and hope to our troubled world. I admire the strength and conviction as they follow Christ, particularly in these challenging times.
“Having worked with Vocation Directors in every part of the country, many of these men have already been discerning their vocation for a significant period of time before making this important step. This discernment has highlighted their integrity, maturity, knowledge of the human soul, and a capacity to relate to others, all essential qualities in a priest. As priests their responsibility will be to communicate the love of Christ in any meaningful way, and to vigorously promote God’s work through our humanity,” Father Rushe said.
Welcoming the students, Monsignor Hugh Connolly, President of St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, said, “It takes courage and great commitment to embark on a religious way of life today, and we are very firmly of the view that our very best advertisements are our wonderful students both lay and cleric as well as a high calibre staff across the four principal areas of formation namely human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral.”
In his address to the new seminarians in Maynooth, Mgr Connolly said “Forming priests and seminarians of prayer, solid faith, pastoral sensitivity and wholesome lifestyles has always and will always be Maynooth’s mission. The people of God need good priests, holy priests, priests who are faithful to Church teaching and especially priests who, in the words of the late Pope John Paul II, are prepared to ‘mould their human personality in such a way that it becomes a bridge and not an obstacle for others in their meeting with Jesus Christ.’”
Welcoming the announcement Bishop Donal McKeown, chair of the Bishops’
Council for Vocations, said, “Today’s good news for the Irish Church calls to mind Pope Benedict’s words as he reviewed the Year for Priests in June:
‘Priesthood, then, is not simply ‘office’ but sacrament: God makes use of us poor men in order to be, through us, present to all men and women, and to act on their behalf. This audacity of God who entrusts himself to human beings – who, conscious of our weaknesses, nonetheless considers men capable of acting and being present in His stead – this audacity of God is the true grandeur concealed in the word ‘priesthood’. That God thinks that we are capable of this; that in this way He calls men to His service and thus from within binds Himself to them: this is what we wanted to reflect upon and appreciate anew.’”
Bishop McKeown concluded, “This profound observation is a valuable reflection for all seminarians and clergy. We need the prayerful support of the faithful at all times and so I ask for prayers for all seminarians, priests and for future vocations.”
ENDS
Notes to Editors
A breakdown, by diocese, of the 16 first year seminarians for 2010 is as follows:
Armagh 1
Clogher 1
Cork & Ross 1
Derry 1
Down & Connor 3
Dublin 4
Galway 1
Kildare & Leighlin 1
Meath 1
Raphoe 1
Tuam 1
– By the end of September the number of seminarians training in Maynooth will be 66.
– In the last five years the total number of new seminarians beginning their studies was: 36 in 2009, 30 in 2008, 31 in 2007 and 30 in 2006.
– St Patrick’s College Maynooth is the National Seminary for Ireland and has been forming men for the priesthood since 1795, see www.maynoothcollege.ie. The College is also a major provider of formation in theology and in pastoral ministry for 350 lay students.
The Trustees of the College are the Governing Body of the College.
The membership is defined by successive Acts of Parliament. The current Trustees are the four Archbishops of Ireland together with 13 other senior Bishops. The College comprises the seminary and the Pontifical University, which offers degrees in theology, philosophy and theology and arts.
– The website for the Vocations Directors of Ireland is available on www.vocations.ie
– An electronic map of the 26 dioceses of Ireland is available on www.catholicbishops.ie
Further information:
Fr Patrick Rushe, National Coordinator of Diocesan Vocations Directors on 086 8807470 and info@vocations.ie.
President’s Office, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Tel: 01 708 3958, Fax: 01 708 3959, email: presoff@may.ie
Martin Long, Catholic Communications Office, Maynooth, 086-1727678.

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