The seminary year for the students of Holy Cross Seminary, Ponsonby Auckland, is coming to an end and the seminarians are free to return to their homes, for a well deserve break, after the year of formation, pastoral activities and study. Their holidays are a wonderful time to relax with family and friends, to catch up with some reading, to reflect on the past the year and on their call to the priesthood. Some may return to work and earn a little money to assist them with their personal expenses.

The parishes they come from will enjoy seeing them. The seminarians are important members of their parish and parishioners do have a concern for them. Just by being back in the home parish they can do a lot of good.  A recent Vatican document says:

“Seminarians should be reminded of an established pastoral truth: ‘No one is better suited to evangelized young people than young people themselves. Young students who preparing for the presbyterate, young men and women who are undergoing formation as religious or as missionaries, personally and as communities are the first and most immediate apostles of vocations in the midst of other young people.’”

(Pastoral Guidelines For Fostering Vocations To Priestly Ministry no 15)

Seminarians, young or old, are an inspiration as they discern their vocation, and in many cases give up careers and jobs to serve the Lord in a special way. This takes courage and faith, for nothing is absolutely certain, as they put their lives in the hands of God, who they trust.

We continue to pray for our seminarians and support them as they enjoy their holidays. I also encourage you to pray for those men who are entering the seminary next year for our diocese, and the other dioceses of New Zealand, as these men begin the journey towards to the priesthood or whatever God has planned for them.

Kind regards and God bless

Father Eamon Kennedy

15th December 2012