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Australian representatives at the formation conference in Rome (The Bridge)

What helps our priests express the Good News effectively throughout their lifelong ministry? Twelve representatives from Australia recently joined a global conference in Rome to explore this topic. Source: The Bridge. 

The International Conference for the Ongoing Formation of Priests, held in February, initiated a shared process with local churches, aimed at strengthening the formation of priests in four dimensions: human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral.

The conference was hosted by the Dicastery for the Clergy, in collaboration with the Dicasteries for Evangelisation and for the Eastern Churches. In preparation, the dicasteries considered the results of the recent survey sent to bishops’ conferences worldwide, contributions from participants before and during the conference, and the Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis (The gift of the priestly vocation).

The conference commenced with Mass at the Altar of the Chair in St Peter’s Basilica, presided by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State. This was followed by presentations from speakers from diverse backgrounds, including Cardinal Lazzaro You Heung-sik, Cardinal Luis Tagle, Fr Hans Zollner SJ and Mother Martha Driscoll OCSO, the Abbess-Emeritus of the Cistercian Monastery of Gedano in Indonesia.

Sale Bishop Greg Bennet, a member of the Dicastery for the Clergy, spoke on the second day of the conference on “How can a priest remain an authentic witness to the Gospel?”

Bishop Bennet emphasised the need for priests to thrive, find joy, and be inspired by the beauty of God’s creation.

Pope Francis also addressed the conference on various topics, reminding priests to be particularly merciful and pastoral, stressing the significance of working with God’s people in communities and parishes.


International conference explores ongoing formation of priests (By Fr Khalid Marogi, The Bridge)