Young Catholics Joining Minor Seminaries

“The Spanish daily La Razon reported this week that more than 1,300 teens between the ages of 12 and 18 are currently pursing a call to the priesthood by studying at the 53 diocesan minor seminaries that exist in the country.

An article written by Alex Navajas revealed that while “some kids at that age dream about being soccer players, business leaders, doctors or bullfighters,” others, “as soon as they enter adolescence, want to become priests.”

Bishop Demetrio Fernandez of Cordoba also discovered his vocation at an early age and attended minor seminary.  “I wanted to be a priest since I was seven,” he said.  “I was an altar boy and I told my pastor, who was a key part of my vocation.”  He said the years at minor seminary “were the happiest of my life.  I only have positive things to say about minor seminaries,” Bishop Fernandez added.

Bishop Fernandez is one among many Spanish bishops who attended minor seminary, including the Archbishop of Toledo and the Bishop of Jaen.  According to Antonio Prieto, the rector of the minor seminary of Cordoba, “more than 60 percent of the clergy of our diocese has passed through these halls.”” – “More Than 1300 Teens Studying in Minor Seminaries in Spain”, Catholic News Agency

This was a wonderful story to see because I had no idea that kids so young could join a religiously inclined school that shows them what it would be like to join a real seminary. From the sounds of it, these schools also are doing a great job. Kids who attend these schools seem like they are turning out to like the profession a lot. This is a great thing to see happening for the Catholic Church because we could really use more priests right now. This school is preparing more and more young Catholics to become leaders of different parishes. Hopefully these schools keep growing in size, and more young Catholics decide that they would like to lead religious lives.

David Silva Thanks Our Lady of Mount Carmel for Spanish Cup Triumphs

This article I found on Catholic News Agency was a wonderful one to see. So often we hear athletes today thanking their parents, coaches, and mentors for their triumphs, which is by no means something wrong. However, it is great to see somebody thanking a religious figure for victory. David Silva and his family seem to have a close relationship with Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the patron saint of their home.

“Spanish soccer star David Silva, who played on the nation’s winning World Cup team is spending the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel thanking her for the victory last Sunday in South Africa.

The midfielder, who is from the Canary Islands, promised he would participate in the celebrations honoring Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the patroness of his hometown of Arguineguin.

Silva’s grandmother told reporters the family has a great devotion to Our Lady and that they were very “nervous” during the World Cup final. So much so, she said, that she could not watch the end.  “I just held on to Our Lady of Mount Carmel … Who would have thought that when this 14 year-old boy who I raised left my home he would achieve this? I am so proud,” she added.

Upon arriving in his home town, Silva told reporters he wanted to join the Marian festivities, as has always been his custom.

At the beginning of July, celebrations in honor of Our Lady began taking place on the islands.  In Silva’s hometown of Arguineguin there is a long procession through the streets, which are covered in rugs made especially for the occasion.” – “Soccer Star Thanks Our Lady of Mount Carmel for Spain’s World Cup Victory”

World Cup Champs to Make Religious Journey

“Spanish soccer player Andres Iniesta, who scored the winning goal during the World Cup final in South Africa, has promised to walk the Way of St. James, which leads to Santiago de Compostela.The Way of St. James is a pilgrimage route that for centuries brought the faithful from across Europe to the city of Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of the saint are venerated.

According to the Spanish newspaper, Marca, months before the 2010 World Cup, the members of the Spanish team sent the newspaper sealed envelopes with the promises they would keep if they won the title.

Marca opened the envelopes after Spain’s historic victory on Sunday and found that Iniesta, along with Fernando Torres and Carlos Marchena said they would walk the Way of St. James.

Iniesta also revealed his promise in an interview prior to the World Cup.  Speaking on Spanish television he said he would make the pilgrimage “somehow…I’ll do it however I have to!” His teammate Sergio Busquets, who was with him, made the same promise.” – “Soccer Player Who Scored Winning World Cup Goal Promises to Make Pilgrimage”, Catholic News Agency

This was a really cool story to read up on. It makes me happy to see these players keeping their word on the promises they made before the World Cup started, and it is also great to see that they made such religiously influenced promises as well. It really shows that a lot of athletes today still look to God and Christ for strength on the field and in whatever they do. It has been said that many fans will make the pilgrimage with their beloved, World Cup winning players. Saint James’ feast falls on the 25th of this month, and Pope Benedict XVI will be in Santiago de Compostela too.