The Bishop is a father who knows, accompanies and encourages you

Dear friends, a year has already passed since that July 16 that we all remember with great joy and emotion: on that day the Lord gave us the gift of a new shepherd and, as Bishop Giuseppe reminded us in his homily of July 15 in Cathedral, gave us the supernatural privilege of seeing our father born.

Many things could be said about the bishop but we will try to answer only one question: what does the bishop represent in the life of a seminarian? Surely the category to be used is that of paternity. Father is the one who knows you, who accompanies you in your growth, who knows how to say no at the right moment, but also spurs you to give your best. Our bishop proved this way.

The first meeting with him already took place on May 28, 2021, we were impatient to meet him, inhabited by a thousand questions and accompanied by a certainty: there would be no better bishop! This awareness was not linked to the variegated pastoral ministry carried out by Don Pino, but by a genuine faith that leads us to say that the Beautiful Shepherd, Christ, guides the boat of the Church and provides, through the Spirit, shepherds according to the heart of God. Ours is the best bishop in the world because it is he who has given us the Lord in this time.

Returning to that first meeting, I remember well that we felt welcomed, thought about, loved. This feeling has continued and is renewed more and more: every meeting is a party, a choral dance of smiles, pats on the back, demonstrations of sincere paternity.

The day of episcopal ordination was long awaited and prepared in detail: for many of us it was the first celebration of this kind and this increased the emotion and allowed that day to be indelibly imprinted not only in our minds but also in our hearts.

A further occasion of grace was the celebration of 12 December in which some of us seminarians experienced the rite of admission to sacred Orders and the conferral of the Lectorate. This date has been long awaited and, as Augustine wrote, “God expands our desire by waiting, by desire he broadens the soul and by dilating it he makes it more capable” (Treatise on the first letter of John 4,6). That moment was a relaunch of the interior fire that accompanies our journey in the seminary, a journey marked by prayer, study, formation and fraternal life.

At the end of this first year spent together with the bishop, the word of gratitude overflows from the heart, first of all to the Lord who renewed the gift of his care in the person of Bishop Joseph and secondly to His Excellency for the way in which he exercises the ministry and for the constant attention towards us. A further reason for joy is the entry into the 1st year of the seminary of Adriano Longo, Alessio Puccio, Matteo Iacono, Raffaele Vona, Sebastiano Lucifora and Simone Cassibba.

We take this opportunity to invite you to pray and rejoice with us for the conferral of the ministry of Lector to Francesco Barone, Giuseppe Cascone, Luca Roccaro, Marco Scalone and of the ministry of Acolyte to Mario Modica which will take place on August 21st.

We remember you in prayer!

The Bishop is a father who knows, accompanies and encourages you – Diocese of Ragusa