ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II
Tuesday, 24 October 2000
I cordially greet the community of the major seminary of the metropolitan see of Warmia, the "Hosianum" in Olsztyn: the students and teachers, with the rector, lay employees and members of the Friends of the Seminary Association. I gratefully recall the time when I had the opportunity to visit your community in 1991, while stopping in Olsztyn during my pilgrimage. I am pleased to be able to welcome you here today.
You came to Rome in the Jubilee Year to ask, at the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, for graces and blessings for the present and the future. Such a Jubilee prayer is especially timely and important in view of the new millennium. The 20th century brought with it many changes in various areas of life. The rapid growth in science, technology, medicine, culture, social and political thought and, finally, the communications media has not failed to influence the spiritual life of individuals, families and entire nations. We can foresee that, in the millennium we are now entering, similar changes in the realities of this world will be a source of new challenges to human beings, especially believers. In order to meet these challenges, believers must find solid support in priests who are well-trained for their ministry. That is why the role of the seminary as a formation community for future priests is particularly important today. A seminary must be an environment with men of deep faith, of unshakeable hope and of self-sacrificing love, men who are open to the work of the Holy Spirit, who instil in Christ's disciples the desire for an active commitment to promoting the coming of the Father's kingdom. A seminary must also be a place where humanly mature priests are formed, men who know how to use the advances of modern culture and wish to contribute to creating them. Our contemporaries need priests who have broad horizons in their thinking and acting, and are ready to meet their brethren's every need.
Warmia's seminary enjoys a long and glorious tradition. This year marks the 435th anniversary of the foundation, by the Servant of God Cardinal Stanislaus Hosius, of this first major seminary on Polish soil, located in Braniewo. It is difficult to recount in a few sentences all the history of this institution, of the men who created it and of the work of the priests formed in it. Suffice it to recall, therefore, Fr Wladyslaw Demski, whom I raised to the glory of the altars among a group of 108 martyrs. This heroic priest, who came from your seminary, gave his life for the Truth, defending the cross of Christ and the Christian faith. May his witness be a model and encouragement to you on your vocational journey. I pray that this seed will continually bear the fruit of new vocations to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Warmia.
I pray that God will pour out abundant graces on you during this Jubilee pilgrimage. May Christ, the Eternal High Priest, lead you into the new millennium and bless you!
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