Bishop Timothy Senior, rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, recently gave an interview for Crux magazine. During the interview, Bishop Senior offered his reflections on priestly formation one year after Pope Francis’ 2015 visit to Philadelphia.

What did the papal visit mean to local seminarians and priests? Bishop Senior said that the visit rejuvenated the spirits not only of priests and seminarians but of the Philadelphia faith community in general. He also spoke of the great example Pope Francis sets of what formation looks like.

The conversation turned to the uptick in seminary enrollment in the Philadelphia Archdiocese (a total increase of 13 percent over the previous year). Bishop Senior mentioned a number of strategies that archdiocesan leaders had been employing to increase the number of priest candidates, including engaging high school students level and keeping in contact with them during college years.

One particular program tried last year was a program titled “Called by Name.” Parishioners throughout the archdiocese were asked to write down and submit the names of potential candidates for priesthood. This resulted in the archdiocese creating list of several hundred potential prospects for seminary. Might other dioceses or denominations may find this simple program helpful in recognizing candidates for their own vocational discernment programs?

Read the full text of Bishop Senior's interview with Crux here

And once you’ve read the interview, let us know your thoughts on Bishop Senior’s insights. 

Image CreditSaint Charles Borromeo Seminary