New Book Helps Seminarians Develop Personal Relationship with Christ
by Christine Schicker Monday, October 05, 2009
Christine Schicker: 404-610-8871 or
IPF Publications Offers New Resource for Seminary Students
Omaha, Neb., October 5, 2009 – The “Year for Priests” announced by Pope Benedict XVI has a special meaning for Fr. Michael Najim. As vocations director for the Diocese of Providence in Rhode Island, he works with seminary students, helping them develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Fr. Najim feels so strongly about this work that he has written personal letters to his students, teaching them about the virtues they would need to conform their hearts, minds and lives to Christ. Those letters have been compiled into a new book called Radical Surrender: Letters to Seminarians.
“While writing this book, I had one simple goal in mind: to inspire the seminarian to enter deeply into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” reflected Fr. Najim. “My prayer is that Christ will interiorly transform each seminarian so that he can be more united with the Person of Christ.” Fr. Najim hopes that Radical Surrender will be an occasion of prayer for seminarians as they journey toward the priesthood.
Benedict XVI outlined the fundamental elements of seminary formation in a talk given to the Pontifical French Seminary in Rome in June 2009. “The formation of future priests, who will be entrusted with souls for whom Christ gave his life, is a ‘delicate mission’,” says Benedict XVI.
The pope also added that “the attitudes required of future priests are many: human maturity, spiritual qualities, apostolic zeal, and intellectual rigor. To acquire these virtues,” Benedict XVI explained. “The candidates for priesthood must not only see these qualities in their formators, but still more they must be the first beneficiaries of these qualities lived and dispensed by those who have the task of making them grow.”
Najim agrees with the Holy Father and says that formation will be fruitful only if the seminarian allows Christ to transform his heart. “I suggest that seminarians read each letter prayerfully and be attentive to the concepts or phrases that speak most deeply to his heart.” The letters are meant to be a springboard to spiritual direction for the seminarian. Fr. Najim has included questions at the end of each letter that he hopes will lead to deeper contemplation, more fervent prayer and honest discussions with a spiritual director and fellow seminarians.
Published by IPF Publications, the publishing arm of The Institute for Priestly Formation based at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, Radical Surrender: Letters to Seminarians will be available in late August. Radical Surrender is a perfect resource for all men studying for the holy priesthood.
Fr. Michael Najim is available for interviews. Please contact Christine Schicker with The Maximus Group at 404-610-8871.
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