The formative year at Sedes Sapientiae kicked off on the 29th of August, 2017 with a month long programme: the Course of September. Towards the end of September, a week long retreat will follow suit to usher us in properly into the new academic year as the university opens on the 3rd of October, 2017. Without unnecessary digression let us intimate you on what the Course of September is all about concentrating on its objectives.
Along this month, we seminarians are groomed through lectures, deliberations and discussions presided over by our formators and above all invited resource paper presenters. The content of the discussions and lectures bothers on the four aspects of integral formation: spiritual, intellectual, human and pastoral formation. The Course of September assists the seminarians in evaluating themselves after the pastoral work, look into our lives as they journey towards priesthood, discuss the current issues in the life of the church, and to widen their horizon.
The course began with an introduction by the Rector, Don Javier Canosa. He highlighted the three pieces of advice the Holy Father, Pope Francis addressed to young priests. Firstly, he pointed out that we should pray always without losing heart as stipulated in the Gospel of Luke 18;1. He further emphasized on the creation of harmony between our prayer life and our daily assignments. Then, he proceeds to articulate that we should always journey in faith, hope and pastoral love, searching to live every moment with the Lord and with others.
Among the lessons by the invited speakers, two have been particularly interesting: that of Msgr. Guido Marini, the master of Ceremony of Pope Francis, and that of Fr. Amedeo Cencini, professor in the Gregorian University. Msgr. Marini highlighted with great emphasis the importance of the Holy Mass in the life of a priest. Fr. Cencini spoke on “The Priestly Vocation, a Dynamic Reality”, explaining the sense and the necessity of a permanent formation, understanding it, above all, as a disposition to a continued personal conversion.
Another aspect of the Course of September is the cultural visits with theological undertone. In fact, opportunities are provided for the seminarians to visit the historical and holy places in Rome with the aim of internalizing the rich cultural heritage of these places and deepening their knowledge with regard to the life of the Church and Christ. Besides, it is always edifying in devoting time to the history of the first centuries of Christianity, how the blood of the martyrs paved way for evangelization and conversion. Hence, this sacred and bold historical decisions and way of life of the early Christians water our spirits, solidify our faith and edify our dispositions towards selfless service to God and humanity.
That having been said, we were provided with the opportunity of seeing one of the four papal basilicas in Rome: the Basilica of St Paul, Outside the Wall. The visit was graciously punctuated with clear and detailed explanation of the history of the basilica, its significance and the importance of the artistic representations that we have seen. We thank a lot our kind and very competent tour guide, suor Agnese, sister of the Missionionarie della Divina Rivelazione. The visit was indeed an enriching and edifying experience.
Furthermore, we visited the church of St Jerome of Charity and the Chiesa Nuova following the steps of St Philip Neri. The explanations helped us to capture better the importance of this saint in the history of the Church.
We thank God for each of these opportunities as we continue to put in our best towards service of God and humanity. In another occasion, we hope to bring you the report of the remaining part of the Course of September.