Thursday, July 16, 2020
Florida Catholic staff - Florida Catholic
MIAMI | Parishioners throughout the Archdiocese of Miami will be asked to contribute to the Seminary Burse Fund during the second collection at all Masses the weekend of Aug. 1 and 2. (Click on this link or the image below to read Archbishop Thomas Wenski's letter.)
The Burse Fund helps pay for the education of Miami's future priests. During a time of pandemic and uncertainty, priests ensure the fulfillment of Jesus' promise: "I will be with you always, until the end of the age" (Matt 28:20) Without priests, Catholics do not have access to the Eucharist or the sacraments.
"The Gospel of Jesus Christ continues to need to be preached in every moment of our lives," said Father Matthew Gomez, who took over as archdiocesan director of vocations in July. "The studies, prayers, pastoral activities, and human growth that the seminarians undergo in the seminary is an assurance that the mission of the Church is alive and well and will also continue to be fulfilled."
The Archdiocese of Miami currently has 52 men studying for the priesthood. They pursue their academic studies at the college seminary of St. John Vianney in Miami and the major seminary (theologate) of St. Vincent de Paul in Boynton Beach. At St. John Vianney, they complete a bachelor's degree in philosophy or, if they already have a bachelor's degree, two years in pre-theology. At St. Vincent de Paul, seminarians pursue a Master of Divinity degree. They pause their academic studies for one year to experience life and work in a local parish.
Since the pandemic has limited attendance at Masses, the archdiocese is reminding Catholics that they can contribute online to the Burse Fund. The link for donations is adomdevelopment.org/bursefund.
Here are the reasons given by three current seminarians for embarking on studies for the priesthood. All of them are enrolled at St. John Vianney:
Saint-Clos Papouloute, Notre Dame d'Haiti Parish, Miami, in his fourth year of philosophy studies:
"I want to be a priest because I grew up in the church and I am aware of the beauty and greatness of God's love for us; after speaking with my pastor at the time, I felt in the depth of my heart the mission to lead the people of God on the way of salvation."
Aristides L. Lima, Nativity Parish, Hollywood, in his second year of pre-theology studies:
"I want to be a priest because God is real, He loves us, and not many people know that; and because Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist."
Gabriel Alejandro Campos, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Miami, in his second year of philosophy studies:
"The reason why I am studying to become a priest is because I heard the voice of God, and I truly believe that I am called to serve the people of God."