The end of another year at the Seminary

Wednesday 19th June marked the end of a year of formation for the seminarians at the Seminary.  Now, each and every one of us can join his family for the three summer months.  During these months, the seminarians give a helping hand in the parish of origin and also in the parishes where they are engaged in pastoral work.  During the summer all the seminarians do voluntary work, both in Malta and abroad.

The last three days at the Seminary were different from the normal school days.  In the morning the community gave a helping hand in the cleaning up of the premises and in maintenance work.  In the evenings we had various meeting and activities.  On Tuesday 18th June we had a barbeque at Marsalforn.  On Wednesday evening, our relatives joined us at Mass to mark the end of the year of formation.

Bishop Mario Grech presided at Mass with the formators and Fr Gabriel Gauci, the newly ordained priest.  Bishop Grech entrusted the Seminary in the care of St Joseph, the Universal Patron of the Church.  Recently Pope Francis asked the Universal Church to include the name of St Joseph in the Eucharistic Prayer of every Mass.  Bishop Grech paid homage to God’s providence in the Seminary and the diocese of Gozo.  We should be grateful to God for showing His providence through the work of priests, seminarians and laity.

In his homily, Bishop Grech commented on the lines of St Paul, from the first reading of the Mass: “He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully” (2 Cor 9,6).  It is obvious that the harvest depends on the sowing.  Each one of us is called to sow a lot and to bear a lot of fruit.  Our mission on earth is to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.  Bishop Grech said that this evangelisation is not the mission of the priest only but is the mission of whoever is baptised.  Pope Francis stated clearly that we are not called to be “Catholics of the living room”; we should be Catholics that “stir the still waters in the Church and in our society”.  Bishop Grech said that we can do this by proclaiming truth and righteousness.  Jesus Christ is the truth.  The mission of the Catholic is to live and proclaim this truth.

If we fail to do this, we risk being choked by weeds: lies and bad teachings.  Bishop Grech said that we can uproot the weeds only if we are witnesses to what we believe in.  In another homily, Pope Francis said that if Catholics do not evangelize by means of the life they lead, “the Church does not remain the mother but becomes simply a babysitter”.  The Bishop drew our attention to the weeds and told us that even in our society, weeds are gaining ground: this is evident mostly in the teachings about the family.  Therefore he invited us, laity together with priests, to be the first witnesses of truth even in matters regarding the reality of the family.

The Bishop concluded by telling the seminarians to make good use of time, especially during the summer.  It has to be a time when each and every one of us should come closer to the source of truth: Jesus Christ.  This can take place by means of prayer, meditation, spiritual literature and everyday life experiences.  At the end of the Eucharist, Bishop Grech thanked the formators for their continual help in the formation of the seminarians, the parents who offered their sons as a gift to the Church of Christ and the friends of the seminarians.

After mass, refreshments were offered to those present.