South African Prelate Establishes Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Cape Town

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South African Prelate Establishes Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Cape…

Part 1

By Salvatore Cernuzio and Junno Arocho

ROME, NOV. 19, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The Catholic Church, in the face of growing secularism, has called for a new evangelization focused on conversion within the Church. Among the many tools that the Holy Spirit is giving the Church for this endeavor are the new movements and ecclesial realities.

One of these, the Neocatechumenal Way, was founded more than 40 years ago, by Kiko Argüello and Carmen Hernández. Since its beginnings in the small shanty towns of Madrid, thousands have discovered the richness of the Catholic faith through this charism. Among the many fruits that the ecclesial reality has fostered are the Redemptoris Mater Seminaries, diocesan missionary seminaries that aid in accomplishing the Church’s call for a new evangelization.

According to a communique released by the Archdiocese of Cape Town, “these international seminaries are not seminaries that belong to the Neocatechumenal Way, since the Way is not a religious order nor has clergy of its own.  All the Redemptoris Mater seminaries are fully diocesan seminaries, whose seminarians have arrived at their vocation as result of their Neocatechumenal path and the rediscovery of their baptism as lived through small Neocatechumenal communities.”

“The seminaries thus formed are also called ‘international’ and ‘Missionary’ since their seminarian vocations come from all parts of the world, and the Redemptoris Mater priests, once formed and ordained in the diocese and having served for some years in the Archdiocese they are ready to travel to other dioceses, to serve the Church wherever necessary.”

This year alone, 10 new Redemptoris Mater seminaries have been opened, bringing the total number of these seminaries worldwide to 95.

Archbishop Stephen Breslin of Cape Town, South Africa, was in Rome this week to sign the decree establishing the diocesan missionary seminary in his diocese. The seminary statutes were signed during a Eucharistic celebration presided over by the archbishop and his vicar general, and held in the grotto of Saint Peter’s Basilica, in the Lithuanian Chapel, at the feet of the effigy of our Lady of the Gate of Dawn, Mother of Mercy.

In his homily, the archbishop of Cape Town referred to the student protests taking place in Rome that very day, and which he had involuntarily witnessed along the streets that brought him to Vatican City.  “Unfortunately these days,” he said, “a great anger grows, too often involving the young.  It is a phenomenon that we are witnessing in South Africa as well.  This anger is a symptom of a great thirst, a thirst for truth; a thirst that shows a great desire to comprehend, in order to give a full sense to life. We know that the sole answer to this thirst lies in the person of Jesus Christ, who died and rose again.”

Archbishop Breslin spoke with ZENIT on the significance of the Redemptoris Mater in Cape Town and its role in the new evangelization.

Part 2 of this interview will be published Tuesday.

ZENIT: We hear that you will be opening a Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Cape Town? Why is this significant?

Archbishop Breslin: We’ve had Neocatechumenal communities in Cape Town for more than 25 years now. And I believe that this is a logical growth and step [not only] for the Neocatechumenal Way but also for the growth of the Church in Cape Town itself. And it is a way of connecting ourselves to the call first made by Blessed Pope John Paul II for the new evangelization and that we contribute to the worldwide movement of continuing to bring Christ to people and to lead people to have an encounter with Jesus Christ.

ZENIT: This recent Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization had a particular focus on the role of movements in the Church. How do you see this new seminary fostering that and the call to conversion that Pope Benedict XVI made during the synod?

Archbishop Breslin: Regretfully, I wasn’t at the synod; I would have loved to have been a participant. But we’ve had a very good report back from our delegates from South Africa and I think that the Neocatechumenal Way contributes, in this sense, with the seminary that we are intending to open. The priests, first of all, come from an international setting, different countries in the world and they contribute to the life of the Church in Cape Town, but they are [also] missionary diocesan priests who, after serving a certain amount of time in the Archdiocese of Cape Town, will be sent out to different parts of the world. Either where Christ has never been proclaimed or elsewhere, where there is a need to re-call people to their Christian foundation and their Christian origins.

ZENIT: A part of the text within the decree establishing the seminary included words from Pope Benedict’s message from the Synod of Bishops. Could you expand on that and its significance?

Archbishop Breslin: Yes, certainly. Because in terms of the new evangelization, the missionary nature of the Church continues to bring Christ to people who have never heard of Christ and to cultures that have never heard of Christ. And that is the traditional missionary role of the Church, of going out to all peoples, to teach and to proclaim Jesus Christ. But in a secularized world, many people who know about Jesus Christ and perhaps were Christian have drifted away from their faith, or have become very apathetic to their faith. So it’s not so much that they don’t believe in Christ, but they have become indifferent, and they have become indifferent to leading a Christian life. And therefore, the first [elements] of the faith need to be rekindled in their hearts and they need help to come to an encounter with Jesus Christ. And I think that is what the Pope is trying to say is that this is a very important part of the new evangelization, it’s not just taking Christ to cultures that have never heard of Christ, but it is trying to proclaim Christ in cultures that have become very secularized, very materialistic, and that have become totally indifferent to the presence of God and to the presence of Jesus Christ.

ZENIT: How can the movements help in this mission?

Archbishop Breslin: I think Blessed Pope John Paul II put it very well that the role of Evangelization is the role of all baptized people. And perhaps in the Church we have become a little bit too…[pause] with the understanding that the evangelization belongs to the bishops, the priests and religious, but the fact of the matter is that all people are meant to be evangelizing at the various different sectors that were mentioned in the synod as well. So to evangelize culture, to evangelize the economy, to evangelize people at various different levels, and that we are all meant to be the bearers of Jesus Christ, taking Christ to people, and certainly this is not limited to priests and religious. It is the role of each and every baptized person. I think the great advantage of the movements is that they are motivating lay people particularly, in order to be bearers of the message, the good news and to take that into the various sectors of society.

Part 2

ROME, NOV. 20, 2012 (Zenit.org).- According to a South African archbishop, the new evangelization needs a new type of priest.

Archbishop Stephen Brislin says a priest of the new evangelization must incarnate the ardor and zeal being called for by Benedict XVI, and Blessed John Paul II.

Archbishop Brislin of Cape Town, South Africa, was in Rome last week to sign a decree establishing a diocesan missionary seminary in his archdiocese.

It is a Redemptoris Mater Seminary, a diocesan missionary seminary linked to the Neocatechumenal Way to aid in accomplishing the Church’s call for a new evangelization. This year alone, 10 new Redemptoris Mater seminaries have been opened, bringing the total number of these seminaries worldwide to 95.

According to a communique released by the Archdiocese of Cape Town, “these international seminaries are not seminaries that belong to the Neocatechumenal Way, since the Way is not a religious order nor has clergy of its own.  All the Redemptoris Mater seminaries are fully diocesan seminaries, whose seminarians have arrived at their vocation as result of their Neocatechumenal path and the rediscovery of their baptism as lived through small Neocatechumenal communities.”

Archbishop Brislin spoke with ZENIT on the significance of the Redemptoris Mater in Cape Town and its role in the New Evangelization.

Part 1 of this interview was published Monday.

ZENIT: You have stated in the past that you would like to form a new type of priest in South Africa. How do you see the Redemptoris Mater seminary in fulfilling that goal?

Archbishop Brislin: I think we live in a very, globalized world at the moment and I think that the issue is to try and understand that as a globalized world, we are all connected with each other. Therefore, the fact that the seminary is an international seminary, I think is an absolute asset — that we are getting people from various cultures, various nationalities who are coming under one umbrella and who are being formed in the Church of Cape Town and are then being sent out to different parts of the world in order to do the missionary work.

I think that when we say that we want to form a new type of priest, what we are looking for is that ardor, that zeal that Blessed Pope John Paul II spoke about and which certainly Pope Benedict XVI himself has spoken about. And that ardor shouldn’t be confined to the priest, of course. But that ardor, that zeal for Christ belongs to each and every person. We should have that zeal for proclaiming Christ and also to find new ways of bringing Him to people, particularly among the young, the youth, in ways that they can understand and in ways that they can really understand the message of Jesus Christ; that Christ is our Savior; that He is Lord; that through his passion, death, and resurrection we are saved. And I think the way that it is communicated to people has to be reinterpreted from generation to generation. The message doesn’t change – we are preaching Christ – but the ways we present that have got to be in ways that people will understand.

ZENIT: What is the significance of the fact that the decree establishing the seminary is going to be signed at St. Peter’s Basilica?

Archbishop Brislin: You know yesterday we had the great privilege of seeing the bones, the relics of St. Peter and we were just, once again, so moved and touched to feel ourselves connected with the first Pope, the first of the apostles. I think that what this is saying is that the message we preach is the same message that St. Peter preached, that the Apostles preached. This is the same message that has been preached for the past 2,000 years and we are a part of that. In signing this at St. Peter’s, what we are saying is that we are a part of that long tradition, that we are a part of that Catholic Church, which is the universal Church, and that we are preaching what the Church teaches, and bringing what the Church teaches to all the people with their hearts open to receive this message. So it is a connection of the long tradition of the Church and of saying that ‘This is the faith that we have, this is the Rock on which the Church was built’.  And despite Peter’s frailty, despite his weaknesses, he was the chosen vessel; he was the chosen means that Christ chose. We are saying that despite our own weaknesses, our own frailty, we continue upon that Rock which was given to us by Christ and we preach the same message.

ZENIT: One final question, we have many ZENIT readers from Africa; do you have any message for them in this Year of Faith?

Archbishop Breslin: The post-Synodal document, Africae Munus, gave a long section to the new evangelization. While faith is very alive in Africa and we can certainly rejoice in the faith that we have and the fact that most African people are people who are deeply spiritual, we should not avoid the necessity to continue to have that ardor, to continue to have that energy and enthusiasm for proclaiming Jesus Christ.

Just because faith is alive in Africa, we shouldn’t think that we can be exempt from the secularism which is facing so much of the world. Therefore, we have to have that ardor and we too must continue to find new ways of proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ. It is also true that Africa is a country that has many problems, many difficulties, and we turn to Christ as the hope of Africa. That it is Christ who can save Africa and therefore we turn to him and to his teachings and to say that this is the way of salvation. If we can bring Christ into the hearts of people and if we can truly evangelize cultures, countries and nations, we can bring about justice, peace and reconciliation, which are the great themes of AfricaeMunus. Reconciliation, of course, is the first step and from there flows justice and peace.

 

https://zenit.org/articles/south-african-prelate-establishes-redemptoris-mater-seminary-of-cape-town-part-1/

 

https://zenit.org/articles/south-african-prelate-establishes-redemptoris-mater-seminary-of-cape-town-part-2/

 

 

 

Diego Arias

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