Yesterday, Saint Patrick's College Maynooth, the National Seminary for Ireland, welcomed twelve seminarians who are commencing their formation for the priesthood.
At the conclusion of the 'Introductory Programme' at the end of September, three of the new seminarians from Northern dioceses will continue their studies at Saint Malachy's College in Belfast.
Welcoming the new candidates for the priesthood, their families and friends to Maynooth, President of the College, Monsignor Hugh Connolly, said: "As you begin your formation journey I wish you every blessing during this privileged time for discernment, for learning, for vocation, for praying, for listening and for being especially close to Our Lord in the word of Sacred Scripture, in the faith of the Church, in your participation in the Liturgy and in your service of others.
"This has been a particularly memorable year for the Church in Ireland as we played host to the successful 50th International Eucharistic Congress which took place in June. As the Universal Church prepares to celebrate a special 'Year of Faith', which will mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council in October, may the year ahead be an opportunity for all of us to appreciate the gift of our faith, deepen our relationship with God and strengthen our commitment to sharing our faith with others."
A breakdown, by diocese, of the twelve first year seminarians for 2012 is: Clogher (1), Cloyne (1), Down & Connor (2), Dublin (3), Ferns (1), Kerry (2), Meath (1), Raphoe (1). At the end of September the total number of seminarians in Maynooth will be 64.
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