St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, the seminary for Diocese of El Paso, joyfully opened its doors on Sunday, August 18 for another promising formation year to prepare two new young men to the priesthood. They are Andres Lopez who is 24 years old, from a family of five children, pursues a degree in education at UTEP, and is from St. Mark’s church; and Cesar Garcia who is 18 years old, only child, just graduated from Chapin High School and is from Our Lady of Assumption church. Andres and Cesar are well loved and greatly appreciated by their respective parish communities because they have seen them progressively grow in their personal relationship with God and in their genuine, on-going desire to serve. For many years, both have generously and actively shared their gifts and talents for the good of their community through a long list of ministries, such as music ministry, youth ministry, confirmation catechist, altar server, retreat presenter, and others. Seminarian Peter Venegas, already in seminary formation at St. Charles, excitedly welcomed Andres Lopez and Cesar Garcia as his new diocesan brother seminarians. The three seminarians, who in a generosity of spirit have responded to the call of Christ to serve the People of God, will journey together invested in the formation program designed to help them mature as persons committed to Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, and to his church. At St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, seminarians Peter, Andres and Cesar participate in the formation program which consists of four essential components: Spiritual Formation, Human Formation, Intellectual Formation, and Pastoral Formation. For them, a typical day in the seminary will include: morning prayer, Mass, university classes, exercise, evening prayer, community meals, holy rosary, social time, and night prayer. On a weekly basis, they will be engaged in parish ministry and throughout the year they will visit their spiritual director and meet with their formator every two weeks, as well as participate in days of recollection. Let us pray for Seminarians Peter, Andres, Cesar at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and all our seminarians in Assumption Seminary at San Antonio, Texas, St. Mary’s Seminary at Houston, Texas, Conception College Seminary at Missouri and Mundelein Seminary at Chicago, Illinois. May this new formation year be filled with abundance of fruits.
If you are wondering what to do with your life, if you feel you want to do something really great with it, if you don’t want to fall into a conventional, self-centered existence, if you want to help other people in the deepest way possible, where they most need help, then think about the service of the Gospel in the priesthood. If you become a priest, you will never be rich, you will have to give up the love of a spouse for the love of everyone you meet; you will have to give up your family commitments; you will often be on the move; you will never have a mortgage; you will be under obedience to the leader of the Church just as Jesus was obedient to the will of the Father. But if you are faithful to the ideal of priesthood, you will have the deep happiness which Jesus gives to those who are His friends. One last thing: you don’t have to be perfect to think of being a priest. Jesus chooses ordinary people, not moral heroes. You just have to want to serve Him; He will give you the rest in due course. by Archbishop Maurice Couve de Murville