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“God is still calling and there are men of courage who are answering Him” – Bishop Cullinan

  • 10 students begin studies for the priesthood for Irish dioceses
  • 56 seminarians currently studying for the priesthood for dioceses

Ten seminarians have begun their 2022-2023 academic programme and priestly formation for Irish dioceses.

These new students are currently undertaking their Propaedeutic Programme in the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, Dundalk, Archdiocese of Armagh; Royal English College, Valladolid, Spain; and, Royal Scots College, Salamanca, Spain.  This brings to 56 the total number studying for the priesthood for Irish dioceses.  See below for the full list of seminaries and houses of study where seminarians are currently undertaking their formation.

The Propaedeutic Stage is a distinct stage that takes place in a recognised seminary, approved by the Holy See and the relevant Bishops’ Conference – see explanation below.   Upon completion of this programme, the seminarian, with the nomination of his bishop, then applies to a seminary to continue his formation for an Irish diocese.

Commenting on this year’s intake of seminarians, Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan, chair of the Bishops’ Council for Vocations, said, “The men who have gone forward for training for priesthood in Maynooth are to be applauded.  They are certainly going against the cultural norm, but they are so much needed.

“Amid the chaos of today, within and outside the Church, these men give hope to many.  God is still calling, and there are men of courage who are answering Him.  May all of us support them with our prayers and encouragement,” Bishop Cullinan said.

Father Willie Purcell, National Diocesan Vocations Coordinator for the Bishops’ Conference, said, “These men are counter-cultural and by entering the seminary they show the world that God never ceases to call men to priesthood.  Every vocation is missionary and is lived out in witnessing to the unconditional love of God in our lives expressed in our service of those whom we are called to minister to.  As the faithful in Ireland and around the world continue to journey together on the Synodal Pathway, the generosity of these men calls us to reflect on our own vocation story as we take our part in the renewal of the Church in our respective dioceses and parishes.  I wish to especially thank all the vocations directors across the country for their work in accompanying those who are discerning a vocation to priesthood.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • The following seminaries and houses of study are where seminarians are currently undertaking their formation for Irish dioceses:

Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co Kildare

Redemptoris Mater Seminary, Dundalk, Co Louth

Royal Scots College, Salamanca, Spain

Royal English College, Valladolid, Spain

Pontifical Beda College, Rome

  • In 2016, the Congregation for Clergy, in Rome – which has overall responsibility for seminary formation – issued a new document (Ratio), The Gift of the Priestly Vocation, which is the revised programme for seminary formation.  The Ratio strongly recommends to bishops around the world the introduction of a propaedeutic programme for new candidates who wish to discern their priestly vocation.
  • The National Vocations Office of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference opened on 1 July 2017.  For information on priesthood in Ireland and for contact details for local diocesan vocations directors, please see vocations.ie.                                   

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Lisa Sheridan +353 (0) 86 084 3175.

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