So why are we being asked to build and support another seminary? Because the Redemptoris Mater Seminary is EXCLUSIVELY a seminary which "prepares men for the priesthood...following the life and itinerary of the Neocatechumenal Way." (Article III. Articles of Incorporation, RMS.)
The exclusive Neocatechumenal mission of RMS came glaringly to light this past year when first Junee Valencia objected to a Neocatechumenal formation and then Aaron Quitugua. Apparently a compromise was struck with Junee. He was given a separate place to live but no other options to study other than with the neos at RMS. Aaron Quitugua was flatly refused sponsorship to any other seminary other than RMS. In other words, it's the NEO way or its NO way when it comes to being a priest in the Archdiocese of Agana.
I wish to congratulate you, as I have already done on other occasions, on the establishment of this Regional Seminary of the Pacific. It fills my heart with joy to hear that the number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life is growing year by year. I know that, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, this increase is due in no small part to your own zealous efforts as shepherds of the flock of Christ.
I am pleased, too, that the promotion of priestly vocations and the support of this Regional Seminary have been marked by true collaboration. Thus you have indeed borne witness to the collegial nature of the episcopal ministry in your work to ensure a more effective programme of priestly formation for all your particular Churches. I would ask you always to maintain this interest in the Seminary and particularly in the seminarians, through personal contact and fatherly concern. It is important that all aspects of seminary training should lead young men to a greater knowledge and love of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I encourage you to continue in the vital task of promoting vocations to the priesthood and to religious life. The future of the Church depends in great part upon the evangelical witness and generous service of priests and religious. In particular, I encourage you in your pastoral solicitude to reach out to the young people of your parishes and communities. My prayer is that you will witness such a flowering of vocations in your midst that, in the not too distant future, the Churches which have been established by missionaries will in turn be sending forth missionaries to other nations.*Perhaps because we have NOT supported our own regional seminary as Pope John Paul II exhorted us to, Guam is not only NOT "sending forth missionaries" from "Churches established by missionaries", we are now taking vocations from other dioceses.
But really! What is in the best interest of our young men from Guam who want to serve this Archdiocese as true diocesan priests? A boarding house in Malojloj with spotty formation at a Neocatechumenal seminary? Or sending them to a long established seminary, specifically established to serve our region, and the seminary the Holy Father urged us to support?
|2014 Seminarians of the Pacific Regional Seminary of St. Peter Chanel|
* At the beginning of his address, Pope John Paul II, names the member dioceses of the conference:
As bishops, you represent in your own persons the People of God of the Archdioceses of Suva, Agaña, Papeete, Nouméa, and Samoa-Apia and Tokelau, and the Dioceses of Port-Vila, Tonga, Wallis and Futuna, Taiohae, Samoa-Pago Pago Chalan Kanoa, Rarotonga, Tarawa and Nauru, Carolines-Marshalls and the Mission Sui iuris of Funafuti. The name of each of these local Churches speaks of God’s providential love, incarnated in a particular culture and people, in the lives of the clergy, religious and laity to whom you give a shepherd’s care.