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10/18/2013 2:30:00 PM
Seminarian support effort recognized
Worldwide Seminarian Support photo
Matthew Bunson, Dina Marie Hale and John and Patty Becker.
Worldwide Seminarian Support photo
Matthew Bunson, Dina Marie Hale and John and Patty Becker.

Matthew Bunson — Our Sunday Visitor author, editor of The Catholic Answer Magazine and The Catholic Almanac — visited Portland recently to help mark the 20th anniversary of Worldwide Seminarian Support.

Begun in Portland in 1993 by then-St.Therese-parishioners John and Patty Becker, the lay organization helps fund vocations to the priesthood. Through the work of Worldwide Seminarian Support members in 12 states, more than 50 seminarians have been able to complete their formation and are now serving in many parts of the globe.

Bunson spoke at St. Therese after a Thursday evening Mass celebrated by Father Nicholas Marandu, an Apostolic Life Community Priest from Tanzania now serving as pastor of Immaculate Heart Parish in Portland. Bunson addressed the question of why Americans should be concerned with funding seminarians in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He said the Church faces a hostile political and social climate that seeks to keep people of faith from the public square and a materialistic culture that works to stifle vocations to the religious life.

“The development of the Church here in the United States will not be possible without the presence and support of dedicated priests from around the world,” Bunson said, reassuring the crowd there are signs of a resurgence in vocations.

“And to nurture that future — born out of our trust in Christ and the Holy Spirit who guides the Church — we must appreciate where we really are as a Catholic community, where we are headed, and what we need to do to contribute in our own ways. We need to support the seminarians around the world because we belong to a Universal Church, a Faith that claims 1.6 billion members. To help one young man become a priest is to build up the whole of the Body of Christ, to know that this future priest will celebrate the Eucharist  — perhaps in Manila, or Tashkent, or Buenos Aires, or Portland.”

For more information, go to www.seminariansupport.org.  

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