Seminarians smile with local Guatemalans who are holding welcome signs.
The seminarians were greeted by the community at the local Catholic church.

Seminarians Take a Missionary Pilgrimage

The papal document Pastores Dabo Vobis, on the formation of seminarians in preparation for ordination to the priesthood, states: “The spiritual gift which priests have received in ordination does not prepare them merely for a limited and circumscribed mission, but for the fullest, in fact, the universal, mission of salvation to the end of the earth.” (#36)

Four smiling men with colorful shirts smile at the camera.
Four seminarians from the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis spent time in Guatemala, meeting poor families and praying with them.

Cross Catholic Outreach has the privilege of being a small part of that formation of the hearts of shepherds by leading mission trips for seminarians currently in various stages of study for the priesthood. The latest of these trips was with a group of seminarians from St. Paul Seminary in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Accompanied by Cross Catholic Outreach personnel, a group of five seminarians spent their March spring break seeing first-hand how the principle of integral human development is carried out in the projects sponsored by Cross Catholic Outreach in the Diocese of Santa Rosa de Lima in Guatemala.

This experience was based on the exhortation of Pope Francis that pastors must “know the smell of the sheep.” The intention was to allow seminarians to encounter the poor in various communities throughout the diocese and allow them to enter more deeply into relationships with these vulnerable families through prayer and dialogue. Celebrating Mass at outlying chapels, visiting the infirm in their homes, praying with the sick, and participating in the cathedral’s Eucharistic Holy Hour were all part of the experience. One seminarian wrote, “I too was deeply touched more than words can describe. … My life has been changed for the better. I can’t wait to go again.”