New academic year begins for seminaries in China

Seminaries in mainland China are currently celebrating the beginning of the new academic year in various ways.

Sep 22, 2023

Seminaries in mainland China are currently celebrating the beginning of the new academic year in various ways.

On September 11, Bishop Joseph Shen Bin of Shanghai presided over the opening of the new school year at the diocesan seminary.

This year, the seminary, located in the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Sheshan, welcomed a total of 16 new seminarians and will also offer courses for lay people.

In his address, Bishop Shen Bin encouraged the students and teachers of the seminary, which he called the “window of the diocese”, to “work together to improve teaching and formation activities”. He also expressed hope that the seminarians will experience three important changes — from aspiring students to scholars, from individuals to fellow human beings and from flocks to shepherds.

Bishop Joseph Li Shan of Beijing gave the opening address and called for “making the National Seminary the best and highest school of Catholicism in China”. The new rector of the seminary, Bishop Joseph Guo Jincai of Chengde, emphasised that prayer, care for spiritual life and renewal of administration are the most important points to promote vocations and make the seminary a welcoming home.

As a concrete gesture of welcome, the National Seminary offered three days of hospitality to the parents of the new seminarians who came from all over the country so that they could witness this important new beginning for their sons.

Meanwhile, Bishop Anthony Dang Mingyan of Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi Province, and rector of the Shaanxi Philosophical Theological Seminary, presided over the opening of the new academic year on Sept 7. In the words of St Paul, the bishop encouraged the seminarians: “For you should live a life worthy of the Lord and pleasing to Him in everything. You shall bear fruit in every kind of good work and grow in the knowledge of God. May He give you much strength in the power of His glory... (cf. Col 1:9-14)”.

The bishop personally welcomed the 20 new students (11 seminarians and nine religious sisters) by calling them individually by name and naming them as role models to follow the patron saint of the seminary, St Therese of Lisieux, and the great Lazarist missionary, Fr Frédéric Vincent Lebbe. -- Fides

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