.- Priestly formation isn't a just a job for the rector – it's a responsibility shared between the entire Christian community and seminarians themselves, said a Ghanaian bishop.
“It is the duty and the primary responsibility of parents to form or educate seminarians, while the seminarian himself has the onerous responsibility to be involved and committed to his own formation if he wants to become truly what God the Father has willed,” Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle of Accra said.
The archbishop delivered the keynote address the week of March 12 at gathering themed “Sixty Years of Priestly Formation for the Church in Ghana and the Universal Church – A Shared Responsibility.” The address was a part of the activities at St. Peter's Catholic Seminary in the Cape Coast to mark the 60th anniversary of Ghana's independence as a nation.
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle acknowledges that “the challenges are not to be underrated” but stressed it is the entire Christian community which must contribute. He said the challenges for a complete and concrete formation are to be kept in sight of “parents, guardians and society,” for the good of the “subject, the child or the student…and [the] Church as a whole.”
He said that education of the faith begins in the home with families and children, but then continues onto the state, the church, and religious leadership.
Pope Francis has also expressed similar sentiments in a 2015 homily. He said the family is the “center of pastoral work,” and a “handing on of the faith” begins in the home and church.
The Pope also said that a priest “always remains of the people and the culture that have produced him; our roots help us to remember who we are and to where Christ has called us. We priests do not fall from above but are instead called by God, who takes us ‘from among men,’ to ‘ordain us for men.’”
In his address last week, Archbishop Palmer-Buckle said that the Holy Spirit is bestowed on everyone in the church, and it is therefore the responsibility of the entire church to nature vocations.
“As a shared responsibility, it begins with praying to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his vineyard. Then it follows with calling people and nurturing them to follow Christ in the priesthood and religious life.”