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Portugal: Week of Seminaries in the spirit of the Jubilee. “Moved by God’s mercy”

The “Week of Seminaries 2016”, scheduled from 6 to 13 November, will focus on the Jubilee of Mercy with special attention being paid to the topic of vocations. “The priestly vocation is not just born of a call, a desire, an inner drive, but it is above all the fruit of an encounter between the merciful God and a man who rediscovers the right way and returns to life”, Mgr. Virgílio Antunes said in his message for the presentation of the event. “The week will be entitled ‘Moved by God’s mercy’ so as to emphasise that seminaries are the places where young believers get to know and learn about the mercy of the Lord which will enable them to dedicate their whole lives to serving the neighbour”. The president of the Episcopal Commission for Vocations also wished to recall the decisive role that different communities and families in the Catholic Church can play in education and formation: “A family who does not live the relations of communion that are born of the faith, and in which not all of its members are ready to welcome, understand and forgive in accordance with Jesus’ teachings, will be unable to plant the first seeds of vocation”. “Indeed, feeling open to a mission in the Catholic Church, to the priesthood, to celibacy, to taking a community as one’s own family requires a radical conversion which is only possible to those who directly experience God’s mercy in their lives”, Mgr. Antunes concluded.

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