Saturday, 4 January 1997
I am pleased to welcome the rector and seminarians of St Joseph's Seminary in the Archdiocese of New York. Our meeting today reminds me of the warm welcome which I received from you during my visit to Dunwoodie just over a year ago. As St Joseph's Seminary concludes the celebration of its centenary, you have come as pilgrims to Rome. You will visit the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul and walk in the footsteps of countless martyrs and saints from every age of the Church's life. May their example inspire you as you strive to grow in holiness and pastoral charity.
Like all seminaries, yours is meant to be a community which relives the original experience of the Twelve who were united to Jesus (cf. Pastores dabo vobis, n. 60). As you draw near to the Divine Master through prayer and study, I pray that you will hear his call to service in the Church and respond with loving and generous hearts.
I commend you, together with your families and friends, to Mary, Mother of the Church, and to St Joseph, patron of your seminary. To all of you I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.
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