Priests are challenged to continuously learn and develop

The Pontificio Collegio Filippino is the ‘home in Rome’ of Filipino priests studying there for specialization. Fr. Gregory Ramon Gaston, rector of the college, is thankful for the continuous support they receive for the priests in their ongoing academic formation in Rome.

“Some seminarians and priests love to distinguish between pastoral work on the one hand and academic studies on the other; academic studies are truly a pastoral ministry, as it is done out of a spirit of service for the Church,” said Fr. Gaston

This was the rector’s message during the 40th Sacerdotal Anniversary of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and is also a resident at the Pontificio Collegio Filipino.

According to Fr Gaston, the clergy need to have constant updating and regular studies to have a good relationship with different sectors of society.

Cardinal Tagle, according to the rector, is one good example of a Church leader who continues to develop even though he is already in a high position in the Church, so to speak.

Fr Gaston pointed out that even after Cardinal Tagle has already completed his Licentiate and Doctorate in Sacred Theology, and that he was already teaching in seminaries and received different Doctorates Honoris Cause, and was appointed by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as a member in the International Theological Commission of the Vatican, he never stopped studying.

Especially as Cardinal is continually being invited to give talks to different events in different parts of the world. He thus has to be constantly updated about developments in the Church and in society in general.

Fr. Gaston once more calls on bishops and dioceses to send more priests to study in Rome. She also encourages the faithful to continue to give support to the Pontificio Collegio Filipino to help the priests in their current “pastoral ministry.”

“I always pray that our lay faithful could support their home dioceses so that their Bishops could send some of their priests for further studies in Rome, to undertake this specialized ‘ministry of academic studies for service to the Church,” Fr. Gaston added.

The Pontifcio Collegio Filippino is a college for diocesan priests from the Philippines pursuing further studies at pontifical universities in Rome, Italy.

It was formally established as an institution with pontifical rights by Pope John XXIII on June 29, 1961, through the Papal Bull Sancta Mater Ecclesia. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)



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