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Seminary Rectors and Formators have been described as beacons for the formation of Christ-like priests and are therefore primary gatekeepers in the life of the Church, the Catholic Bishop of Idah, Most Rev. Anthony Adaji MSP, has declared.

Bishop Adaji made this declaration in his homily at the inaugural Mass for the Conference of Nigerian Seminary Rectors held recently at the St. Boniface Cathedral Church, Idah, Kogi State.  According to the bishop: “Since the suitability of the individuals is of a wholesome responsibility, and that all the candidates sent for seminary formation do not attain the same level of human maturity, development and disposition, vigilance and scrutiny therefore, become the vital watchwords in the entire process of formation.”

Stressing that seminary formators have a primary responsibility to ensure that the right candidates are ordained as priests, Bishop Adaji warned that “when it comes to the point where good men are driven away from the seminary and unsuitable men are protected and aided to ascend the altar of ordination, the consequence is always catastrophic for the Church and the entire mission of Christ”.

Bishop Adaji noted that the Church of Christ is built around the priesthood as the Church cannot exist without the Sacrament (Eucharist); “and you cannot have the Eucharist without the priest. He added that by their dedication and commitment as gate keepers the rectors have the duty of protecting the Church against the challenges of the present-day world by ensuring that adversaries are not allowed into the priesthood.

According to him: “A diocese can be put in a suppressive mood” and rendered impotent, if wrong candidates being manipulated by some clandestine persons, find their way into the seminary and become priests.  To prevent this situation, Bishop Adaji noted that: “The Church relies on the grace of God working through the formators and upon their diligence in carrying out this sublime apostolate …”

While wishing the rectors successful deliberations during their conference, Bishop Adaji concluded by emphasizing that seminary formators should be exemplary and practice what they teach. His words; “Our seminarians are readily impressed by formators who combine their formational words with their formational actions. And there is no way to create a dichotomy between these two realities – what they teach and what they practice.”


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