The aircraft of St. John Vianney Seminary 2019 has taken off with the orientation day for all students.

The Rector, Rev. Dr Fr John Masilo Selemela, before giving his opening address, announced that he has received a decree from Rome appointing him as the new Rector (President) of St. John Vianney Seminary NPC. He then alluded that his address will focus on virtues, especially ‘prudence’.

The rector, started by expressing his sincere gratitude to the seminary staff for the hard work they have put towards the seminary, and to the students, for coming back to the seminary. He welcomed the first year students, new students to the seminary and those who were on a break. Seminarians were advised to partcipate actively in all seminary activities.

Quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church, he defined the word ‘Prudence’. “Definitions are pregnant with meanings, but they are more meaningful if they are internalized,” he added. He further invited seminarians to look closely on the human virtues, mostly on the virtue of prudence.
Seminarians also have a history, they come from different families and different backgrounds, ‘they are not ‘mushrooms’ which sprout up suddenly in the cathedral on the day of their ordination,” (quoting Pope Francis’ reflection of the 22nd November 2015). “The seminary’s duty is to help its students to be formed into (and for) the priesthood that the church wants. This can only possible and effective if seminarians are open to formation that is provided by the Church…Prudence helps one to be true to himself. The seminary is here to help its students so that one day they become good priests.” he added.

Seminarians need to reflect on the two examples that they come across: the example they get inside the seminary, and the example they get from outside the seminary. “Lack of prudence is choosing a bad example over a good example. Prudence demands that we become souls that seek for perfection” he added. “I am not going to be silent, I won’t be silenced, I will be courageous to address matters pertaining to celibacy,” he said. He urged seminarians to take celibacy seriously, to be disciplined and to be open about how they deal with celibacy.

The seminary will now be open to the public. On Sundays, senior students will be given a chance to gain pastoral experiene in the near-by parishes. Students who participate in these pastoral activities were advised to bring Christ to the people of God, to be merciful and to be just. It is important that seminarians practise ‘pastoral prudence’ in their pastoral placements. The rector encouraged seminarians to take care of their physical being and health. We wish all seminarians and formators a blessed year.

By Obakeng Innocent Masetlha (Archdiocese of Pretoria Seminarian)