An encounter with Rectors and Seminarians from Germany
At the Tomb of St. Boniface, Apostle of the Germans
31 May – 2 June 2019
Dear Bishops, Rectors and Seminarians, it is with great joy that I greet you as I thank you for your gracious invitation to be here with you today. I would like, from the outset, to convey to you the cordial salutations of His Eminence, Cardinal Beniamino Stella, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, who assures you of his prayer throughout the course of your initial and ongoing formation, so that you may be zealous missionary disciples of the Lord Jesus, who, should the Church confirm your calling, will be good and holy pastors of the People of God.
Permit me to give a brief introduction about myself: after having had the privilege of serving in the area of priestly formation in both Mexico and Latin America, I was appointed Bishop of Papantla, in Mexico, before being called to Rome by our Holy Father Francis, to serve Seminaries the world over, at the Congregation for the Clergy. I can assure you that my flight to Rome was turbulent, as I asked myself, who will be my people now? I received an immediate response: priests and seminarians. You see, whatever our mission be, the Lord entrusts a people to us to love and to serve.
We read in the new Ratio Fundamentalis that the gift of the priestly vocation is to be placed at the school of Christ, Servant and Shepherd of His people, who calls us to follow him as missionary disciples, configuring ourselves to Him and allowing ourselves to be increasingly transformed in His image. As the Lord said: the fully trained disciple will be like his teacher (Lk 6,40). We are called, through Him, with Him and in Him, to give our life to gather together into one the scattered children of God (Jn 11,52).