BY Peter Diamond | January 11 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Six men to prepare for priesthood in Spain

Six men from Scotland have enrolled this week at the Royal Scots College in Salamanca Spain as part of the preparations for the priesthood.

The college confirmed the news on the feast of the Epiphany stating that six men from Scotland and four from around Ireland would be travelling to the Spanish University city to take part in a six-month propaedeutic course.

The initial stage of seminary life and training for priesthood will allow the students to follow a daily programme from January to June and involve classes being taught in Spanish, meaning the seminarians will gain a flavour for a foreign language.

Following the six months in Spain and a summer break, the students who are capable and willing will then enrol into the Royal Scots College in Rome.

The six candidates come from Motherwell, Paisley and Glasgow and St Andrew’s & Edinburgh dioceses, with four Irishmen coming from diocese of Derry and Ferns.


A fruitful mix

College rector Fr Tom Kilbride of Glasgow Archdiocese was appointed to Salamanca in 2016 and was formerly parish priest of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Dennistoun.

Fr Kilbride said: “Among the six from Scotland we have people joining us from as young as 18 and as old as 55 this year so it is a real fruitful mix.

“There are people coming straight from school or university but there are also ones who come from a career and have maybe listened and discerned a call from God.

“This period of six months will prepare the students for major seminary.

“We hope to give them the foundations going forward that will allow them to find their feet spiritually and gain a sense of all things seminary.

“We give them a flavour of major seminary by allowing them to live in community with one another and attend university where some classes are taught in a different language.

“Importantly we give them the chance to grow their relationship with God, Christ and the Church and our courses are at an introductory level where a whole host of things are touched on.

“We explore spirituality through prayer, the liturgy through Divine Office, the scriptures, Church history, Evangelisation and Catholic social teachings.

“There will also be a chance to visit the English College in Valladolid in February and we will be going to Rome at Easter time to visit the Scots seminary there too.”


On the rise

Fr Kilbride said that while ‘in previous generations there may have been an ideal that all priests came from junior seminary or from school,’ nowadays there is no natural path as ‘people hear God’s call at different times of their life.’

He added: “We have turned a corner in vocations in Scotland; our numbers are beginning to build up again. Last year we had 14 men taking part in a propaedeutic year and this year although it has halved it is vibrant.

“It is also the case that the people that are listening to the call of priesthood have a stronger sense of what it is about and that is positive.”


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