By ZENIT Staff

Thirteen seminarians have begun their formation and academic program for 2020 – 2021. The new students are currently in formation in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth; the Pontifical Beda College, Rome; the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, Dundalk; and the Venerable English College, Rome; with a number beginning their propaedeutic program in other locations in Ireland and abroad. This brings to 72 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.

Commenting on the 2020 – 2021 intake of seminarians, Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan, chair of the Bishops’ Council for Vocations, said, “While we are all aware of the great challenges facing the Church and society at this time, we know also that God the all-powerful is always with us. These formation figures released today offer us a sign of hope.

Bishop Cullinan continued, “In his message for Vocations/Good Shepherd Sunday on 3 May last, Pope Francis asked us to find courage to say ‘yes’ to God, to overcome all weariness through faith in Christ. My prayer is that all who are being called to diocesan priesthood will have that courage to say ‘yes’ to God`s call!”

Father Willie Purcell, National Diocesan Vocations Coordinator for the Bishops’ Conference said, “The role we have as Vocations Directors is to help young people realize that each one of them has a unique calling from Christ, and we aim to support them in answering that call, particularly in the case of those who are discerning vocations to the priesthood or religious life. I take this opportunity to thank all the vocations directors across the country for their work in accompanying those who are discerning a vocation to the priesthood.”

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