Priest Calls for a More Missionary Clergy


BRASILIA, Brazil, JULY 13, 2010 ( Before the Catholic Church can be a more missionary church, it needs to first form a more missionary clergy, says the secretary-general of the Pontifical Missionary Union, Father Vito del Prete.

Father Del Prete arrived in Brazil last week to take part in the 1st Missionary Congress for Seminarians, held at the Major Seminary of Our Lady of Fatima in Brasilia, according to a note of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil.

"If we mobilize the clergy for the missionary cause, the whole Church will become missionary," he said in an address to 160 Brazilian seminarians, three bishops, and several priests who work with seminarians.

The priest explained that the purpose of his institution is to encourage and form, at the missionary level, bishops, priests, seminarians, and men and women feligious.

For Father del Prete, the Church in Brazil can be "the engine of the revitalization of the mission in Latin America."

The secretary-general of Brazil's episcopal conference, Archbishop Dimas Lara Barbosa, invited the seminarians to assume the mission with the same fidelity and the same courage as the Apostles Peter and Paul.

"We wish to request fidelity to Jesus Christ, beginning from a personal encounter with the Risen One, and courage to be disposed to witness," said the prelate.

Father del Prete also stressed the example of Peter and Paul, reminding that, despite their differences, they had missionary ardor in common. He added, "We are called to witness the same faith taught by these two Apostles."