Holy Father's Mass with Seminarians
By John Paul Escarlan,
Seminarian of Holy Spirit Seminary, Catholic Diocese of Parramatta
As the World Youth Day (WYD) was about to conclude, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated the Holy Eucharist with thousands of seminarians from all over the world at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Almudena, Archdiocese of Madrid on Saturday 20 August.
As a seminarian for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, I was fortunate enough to be part of this celebration.
Due to the huge of number of seminarians, some of us were allocated to sit outside the cathedral. And I was one of them. When the Holy Father arrived, we started chanting his name. For some people, WYD is a gathering of Catholics for one person who is the Pope; however, the Holy Father has shown to us that this pilgrimage is not all about him but this is mainly about our greater union with the Triune God.
In his homily, he encouraged us to "approach priesthood only if you are firmly convinced that God is calling you to be his ministers, and if you are completely determined to exercise it in obedience to the Church's precepts", which include "to live in celibacy for the sake of the kingdom of heaven and leaving aside worldly goods, live in austerity of life and sincere obedience" to God's will."
Furthermore, this gathering of seminarians from all over the world reminded me of the universality of the Church. It reminded me that we are not just seminarians from the Diocese where we come from but we are seminarians of One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ. To have that experience in celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the Holy Father was, therefore, an encouragement for all of us, seminarians, to continually persevere with great determination and right motivation in answering God's call to be His laborers in His vineyard.
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