Archbishop to seminarians: Avoid materialism, be close to poor

Archbishop to seminarians: Avoid materialism, be close to poor

Seminarians attend the opening Mass of this year’s “Kapatiran at the Peñafrancia Basilica Minore in Naga City on Feb. 8. PHOTO FROM SAN CARLOS SEMINARY – MANILA

By CBCP News

February 12, 2020

Manila, Philippines

A Catholic archbishop advised future priests to shun materialism, live simpler lives and stay close with the poor to avoid slipping into clericalism or attitudes of rigidity.

Speaking at a Mass full of theology seminarians, Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona of Caceres urged them to “incline” themselves with the poor to remain close to God.

“It is more than serving and being with the poor. It is, above all, developing a spirit that is poor,” Tirona said.

Inclination and love of the poor, he stressed, means imminently to be humble, simple and to be “pure in heart, mind and soul”.

He spoke out while leading a service at the Peñafrancia Basilica Minore in Naga City on Feb. 8.

About 700 seminarians from 18 seminaries and formation houses attended this year’s “Kapatiran”.

Hosted by the Holy Rosary Major Seminary, the event reflected on the theme “Building Bridges of Communion”.

And for them to be bridges of God towards the people, the archbishop said that they must have “strong pillars”.

Aside from inclination to the poor, the two other foundations are “intimacy with God” and “love for the Church”.

“These are very powerful means that will strengthen ourselves as ‘bridges of communion’ to others,” Tirona said.