Families: Stewards of Vocations
Priests, bishops, and even the Supreme Pontiff came from families. All of them grew up in the context of a family. The seed of their vocation began to sprout in one way or another inside the family. Oftentimes, those who respond to the call of God to the priesthood are first inspired by the witness of love and service of their parents even in the simplest ways. Many of them have parents who are actively involved in parish activities. These parents bring their children to church to hear Mass and to involve them in their apostolates. The children may not understand what their parents do but their eyes are slowly opened to what Church life means. And at the end of the day, the whole family prays its devotions such as the holy Rosary. Thus, the seed of vocation is slowly planted in the children’s hearts. This seed, if nurtured, will soon sprout and bear fruit.
San Carlos Seminary
San Carlos Seminary is the Archdiocesan Seminary of the Archdiocese of Manila, and the first ever diocesan seminary to be established in the Philippines. For more than three hundred years, it has formed men who contributed much to the growth of the Church in the Philippines and the faith of the Filipino people. Standing on the shoulders of giants – Rufino Cardinal Santos, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Bishop Socrates Villegas – Karlistas are proud of the heritage they have inherited from hundreds of years of Filipino diocesan priestly formation, yet remaining humble in the spirit of its patron San Carlos Borromeo’s motto, humilitas.
Karlistas, as the San Carlos Alumni are called, are well known for their deep pastoral formation that they acquired from their Seminary. As future pastors in the diocese, San Carlos Seminary offers a formation that is deeply rooted in the faith, contextualized within the signs of the times, fostered through unity with the Bishop and the local church. Karlistas are also renowned in their love for the liturgy and music. For a San Carlos graduate, a beautiful and orderly liturgical celebration should be part and parcel of the parish community life. It is therefore not uncommon to see Karlistas in different dioceses working in the seminary, diocesan offices and commissions, and even in the remotest area doing their duties as pastors of souls.
At present, San Carlos Seminary has evolved from a small school for the native clergy, to a premier institution for the training of future priests for the whole Philippines and even overseas. Seminarians from as far as Abra, Palawan, and Daet are formed in this seminary. Recent graduates from Vietnam and Burma are now serving as priests throughout parts of Asia. Religious congregations also send their members to San Carlos for their Academic training.
San Carlos Seminary continues its legacy of forming pastors patterned after the heart of Jesus the Good Shepherd.