- Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb
Seminary: A time to discover God’s Gift
Jiwaka: Spirit filled voices with joy and happiness sang and danced as they welcomed Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Pro-prefect of the Dicastery of the Evangelization of Peoples, Rome, on 3rd October at 1.30pm. The professors, students and religious of the area were then present to listen to the words of His Eminence and ask questions.
Cardinal John Ribat, Archbishop of Port Moresby; Archbishop Fermin Emilio Sosa Rodrigues, Apostolic Nuncio to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, Archbishop Douglas Young, Archbishop of Mt Hagen, together with several bishops were also present on the occasion. Fr Philomen, expressed his joy and welcomed the dignitaries to Good Shepherd Seminary.
Addressing the gathering, Fr Clement Papa, Rector of the Seminary, thanked the Cardinal for his contribution to the work of seminary formation during hit Apostolic Visitation in 2010. “This has triggered the work of our national Ratio, something necessary and relevant to the pastoral needs of the PNG local church”, he said. “The whole intention was to bring the formation of priest right to the doorsteps of a flourishing parish community. The seminary’s pastoral programs are to be integrated in the pastoral programs of the parish community, something clearly pointed out by Vatican II and repeated by John Paul II’s encyclical letter Pastores Dabo Vobis”, he continued.
He then made mention of the addition of the Spiritual year (34 seminarians) to the existing Philosophy program (46 seminarians) that commenced 30 years ago. The 9 full time staff members consists of lay (2), religious (2), diocesan priests (4), and a brother. He highlighted the fact that the work of formation is in the hands of the local clergy who are now preparing the future PNG priests to minister to the PNG church.
In a very engaging and interactive session with the seminarians, Cardinal Tagle dwelt on the fact that seminary formation is a time to discover God’s gift and respond to his calling. He encouraged the seminarians to open to the ‘God of Surprises’, be honest with their superiors as be ready to follow Gods call in their life. He reminded them of the need to be truthful, sincere and honest and listen to the voice of God through their superiors who are their spiritual guides.
During the question time, discussions revolved around human and emotional formation and the call to celibacy. The cultural issues of power, abuse, domination was also dealt with. The seminarians were reminded that human formation depends on our ability to relate respectfully and lovingly to all persons.
The program concluded with appreciation and thanks for an insightful encounter. All then gathered around their eminent guests to seal smiles on a photograph.