Yesterday Saint Patrick's College Maynooth welcomed 17 new seminarians who have commenced their formation for the priesthood at the National Seminary. At the conclusion of the Introductory Programme in mid-September, four of the new seminarians from Northern dioceses will continue their studies at Saint Malachy's College in Belfast.
Welcoming the new candidates, their families and friends to Maynooth, the President of Saint College Maynooth, Monsignor Hugh Connolly, said: "Our thoughts and prayers accompany these 17 men who have taken the first step along the road to ordained ministry and to placing their lives at the service of Christ and of His people. This formation year will coincide with a Year of Mercy which will be celebrated throughout the world by the universal Church. When our Holy Father announced this he said: 'I am convinced that the whole church - has much need to receive mercy because we are all sinners and will find in this jubilee the joy to rediscover and render fruitful the mercy of God, with which we are all called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time. The call of Jesus pushes each of us to never stop at the surface of things, especially when we are dealing with a person, because we are called to look beyond, to focus on the heart to see of how much generosity everyone is capable. No one can be excluded from the mercy of God.'"
Monsignor Connolly concluded: "It is my wish that the year ahead will be a year of mercy and of grace for each one of us here in our seminary community. May we never stop at the 'surface of things' but rather push on to discover the presence of Christ in our community and in every person with whom we are called to minister and to share our lives. Let us pray that others will hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and that they may also consider a vocation to the priesthood."
At the end of September the total number of resident seminarians in Saint Patrick's College, Maynooth, will be approximately 60. A further 20 or so
non-resident seminarians are also pursuing their academic studies in the College, together with some postgraduate priests and several hundred lay students. A breakdown for 2015, by diocese, of the seventeen first year seminarians is as follows:
- Armagh 1
- Cork & Ross 1
- Derry 1
- Down & Connor 3
- Dublin 3
- Galway 1
- Kerry 1
- Killaloe 2
- Ossory 1
- Raphoe 1
- Tuam 1
- Waterford & Lismore 1
For more information on St Patrick's College Maynooth, see: www.maynoothcollege.ie
Source: Irish Catholic Media Office
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