In 1990, bishops from all over the world participated in a synod convoked by Pope John Paul II on the topic of priestly formation. As the fruit of this synod, the Holy Father published the apostolic exhortation Pastores dabo vobis, on this vital aspect for the present and future of the Church. In these circumstances, in 1991, the Legion of Christ organized its first International Course for Formators of Seminarians, with the goal of cooperating with those who are forming the future priests of the Church.
Since then, this course has been held every year in the north of Italy, benefiting over 1148 priests from 464 dioceses and 90 countries.
The course, organized by the Sacerdos Institute of the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum, is intended for bishops, rectors, vice-rectors, spiritual directors, and other seminary formators. It lasts five weeks, including an optional week of spiritual exercises, and covers topics in pastoral ministry, theology, pedagogy, and practical organizational matters pertaining to the formation of candidates to the priesthood. The course dynamics consist of talks, group discussions, and case analyses. Each year, there is also a thematic seminar lasting three days; in past years, the seminar themes have included: the spirit of unity and ecclesial communion, spiritual direction, and human maturity. In addition to the academic activities, the participants are also enriched by their fellowship and by the opportunity to share experiences in a climate of brotherhood and joy, along with moments of prayer in common.
National courses have also been held in locations such as Tanzania, Brazil, the Czech Republic, the Philippines, Columbia, Slovakia, Venezuela, Peru, and Ghana.
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