Thursday, September 23, 2010

AMERICA: CANADA: SEMINARIANS FOR LIFE CONGRESS

LIFESITENEWS.COM REPORT- Earlier this month Priests for Life Canada sponsored the first ever Seminarians' Pro-Life Congress, at the Mount Mary Immaculate Retreat Centre, nestled in the beauty and quietness of Ancaster, Ontario. Twenty-five seminarians from all across Canada gathered for an intensive five-day learning experience about life issues from Aug. 30, to Sept. 3.
Fr. Tom Lynch, National Director of Priests for Life Canada called the event “historic,” saying that it was “the first time ever, that I’m aware of, that seminarians from across Canada were brought together just to hear the pro-life message and to plan their future strategy as priests to deal with this issue in a parish setting.”
“Loving Life through Life” was the broad theme that united the days of prayer, learning, reflection, and integration. From early in the morning to late in the evening, the days were filled with enriching and challenging presentations dealing with a myriad of life issues.
Each day was dedicated to different “Patrons of the Day” who reflected the themes discussed that day: St. John Vianney, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Gianna Beretta Molla, Blessed Mother Teresa, and Blessed AndrĂ© Bessette. The three main days of the Congress focused on “The Priest as Loving Life in Infancy,” “The Priest as Loving Life in Adulthood, and “The Priest as Loving Life in Old Age.”
An impressive line up of speakers from Canada and the United States included Dr. Stephen Genuis: "The Sexual Revolution"; Dr. Mary Anne Layden: "Internet Pornography and Addictions"; Dr. Julia Cataudella: "Natural Family Planning"; Mother Agnes Mary Donavan (Sisters of Life): "How Can the Priest Love Life in Infancy”; and Dr. Deborah Zeni: “Why Women Choose Abortion.” Many of these talks will be made available on CD, DVD, and on the Priests for Life website. (or telephone 1-888-300-2007).
Various bishops from across Southern Ontario (Bishop Ronald Fabbro – London, Archbishop Brendan O’Brien - Kingston, Bishop Gerard Bergie – Hamilton, and Archbishop Thomas Collins – Toronto) presided and preached at the daily Eucharistic celebrations. They affirmed and challenged the seminarians to grow in holiness so that they could build a culture of life in their parishes and dioceses.
“This is one of the best events we’ve had in our fifteen year history,” said Michael Vande Wiel, Operations Manager of Priests for Life Canada. “To have twenty-five seminarians from across Canada dedicate an entire week of their summer vacation to take part in such a Congress shows their concerns on how far our society has moved into the 'culture of death' mentality.”
In the end of week evaluation, seminarians said they would recommend that all seminarians attend a similar event.
Priests for Life Canada said in a press release that it is sincerely grateful to many supporters who joined in prayer and sponsorship of seminarians. They especially thanked the Knights of Columbus "Culture of Life Fund," to which all Canadian Knights contribute on an annual basis, for providing $15,000 to assist in funding.
The pro-life organization said that they plan to follow up the event by having an on-going presence at seminaries by visits and short pro-life overviews a few times during the academic year. “We have an eager group of seminarians that want us to keep them informed,” said Fr. John Lemire, Chairman of Priests for Life Canada. “That’s what our organization is all about so we intend to do exactly that. In the meantime, we’re here to support all seminarians and Catholic clergy in the pro-life ministry. We can be contacted anytime at 1-888-300-2007”.
For more details on the Congress and the works of Priests for Life Canada, visit http://www.priestsforlifecanada.com/.

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