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Director: Bai An Tran, Ph.D.

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Missionary spirit is central to the formation of priests in Vietnam

chungvien xuanloc 

Xuan Loc (AsiaNews) - The missionary spirit characterizes the major seminary of St Joseph in Xuan Loc, 80 miles north of Ho Chi Minh City, where 315 students are currently studying. "We are preparing with this goal,", the seminary rector, Msgr. Joseph Đức Định Đạo told *AsiaNews*.

"It is not just a question of meeting the needs of the most important diocese, but also being open to the service of other dioceses and other Asian countries." "I'm very worried - he adds – about the formation of future priests. How can we help the seminarians to love Jesus, to trust in Jesus and follow him in happiness. All Christians certainly need the love of Jesus and that is why the priests should be an examples to follow. Formation does not stop with theological concepts, we must think and live like Jesus. "

Opened September 26, 2008, the St. Joseph seminary is like a big family in which students from the dioceses of Bà Rịa, Đà Lạt and Phan Thiết and some from the north, Phát Diệm, Haiphong, Hưng Hóa, Lạng Sơn live. They are the future pastors of more than 900 thousand Catholics, divided into 300 parishes in the diocese of Xuân Lộc.

"The Church - says Archishop Leopoldo Girelli, the Holy See's representative in Vietnam, who visited the seminary May 1 - needs many priests, but priests should be holy in the example of Jesus, to proclaim the Good News and be the pastors of the community that God entrusts to you. " Hence the exhortation to "cultivate your spiritual life and to continue your formation to match the tasks entrusted by God", as well as to "study more English and Italian." Recently, some articles have appeared in Vietnamese on the current reality of our society. The Catholic thinkers talk about the "phenomenon of materialism and secularism that are affecting our lives. The number of people who do not believe in God seems to grow. This is why the Church needs priests who really know how to live the spirit of poverty and that "song thanh thoát" (have the light and spread the light) on the path towards heaven. This is why priests must always pray, to meet the needs of the mission of the Church in today's society.

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