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Faced with the reality of entire countries with deep Christian roots that, especially in Europe, begin to abandon the faith and religious practice, in the 1980s, within the charism of the Neocatechumenal Way, the awareness of a new missionary experience matures. Many families become available and are sent to give an impulse to the "New Evangelization" of countries with an ancient Christian tradition but now secularized.



     But at the same time, the need arises to accompany families on mission with priests ready to leave with them: that is why in 1988 John Paul II decided, blessing the inspiration of the founders of the Neocatechumenal Way - Kiko, Carmen, and Fr. Mario set up a Diocesan Missionary Seminary in Rome to form a new figure of the priest: diocesan and missionary.

  Following the impulse given by the Holy Father, in the following years, "Redemptoris Mater" seminaries gradually rose throughout the world, reaching, in 2020, the number of 124 scattered on the five continents.

These seminars have in common some characteristics:


The seminary is erected by the Ordinary Bishop and prepares priests who will be part of the local clergy. But the preparation is missionary and international, to respond to what was established by the Second Vatican Council which, in the decree for the formation of the clergy "Presbyterorum Ordinis'' in n°10 writes: «Let priests, therefore, remember that the solicitude of all the Churches is incumbent upon them... And where this is necessary for apostolic reasons, it should be facilitated not only a functional distribution of priests but also the implementation of specific pastoral initiatives in favor of different social groups in certain regions or nations or even continents. To this end, it may be useful to create international seminaries (...), to which priests may be ascribed or incardinated for the good of the whole Church, according to rules to be established for each of these institutions, and always respecting the rights of local ordinaries».


     This openness to all churches is placed as the foundation point of preparation for the priesthood. The seminary receives  young people of different nationalities, to create a place where you can breathe the Catholic character - Universal of the Church, where brotherhood in Christ is stronger than any form of nationalism or racism, preparing priests ready to go wherever the Church sends them.


       Another characteristic element is the human formation and faith which has as its foundation the participation of every seminarian in the Neocatechumenal Way in local communities. Such participation is of fundamental importance; it is in fact community life that leads children to grow in the faith through a journey of rediscovery of the gifts of baptism. All this is even more valid if we consider that the first call is not so much to the priesthood or Christian marriage but holiness, and this matures by entering into communion, in prayer, in obedience, in the profound meaning of one’s own life. The community is the place where you experience a Church that is Mother and that never leaves you alone, that accompanies you in every stage of life.

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