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Mandalay seminary celebrates 25 years

Poor attitude is biggest challenge, says St. Thomas Intermediate Seminary rector

Seminarians from St. Thomas Intermediate Seminary sing hymns at the anniversary Mass Seminarians from St. Thomas Intermediate Seminary sing hymns at the anniversary Mass
  • ucanews.com reporter, Mandalay
  • Myanmar
  • January 24, 2011
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The greatest challenge facing St. Thomas’ Intermediate Seminary in Mandalay is not financial, it’s the formation of mature, responsible seminarians, says its rector.

Many seminarians are not growing up the way those in charge would like them to and their response to teaching is unsatisfactory, Father Dominic Jyo Du said during recent celebrations marking the institution’s silver jubilee.

“We can’t expect all young seminarians to become priests but we want them to become good Christians,” he told ucanews.com.

Yes, they have financial problems, but generous contributions at home and from overseas help them survive, Father Jyo Du said.

The seminary currently has 57 seminarians who attend the University of Distance Education program.

U Joseph Ahkee, a layman who has been teaching Latin at St. Thomas since it opened, agreed with Father Jyo Du’s assessment.

Seminarians who attended the seminary 20 years ago were mature and enthusiastic about getting an education, he said.

Today’s seminarians lack  a learning ability, commitment and are not mature, U Ahkee said.

Spiritual formation is a basic foundation and if seminarians grow in spirituality, their moral and intellectual formation will also develop, he said.

Earlier, Archbishop Paul Zinghtung Grawng of Mandalay and Father George Khin Mg Htwe, St. Thomas’ first rector concelebrated a “thanksgiving Mass” to mark the seminary’s silver jubilee.

“Setting a good example is more important than our preaching in serving the people,” Father Khin Mg Htwe said in his homily.

About 400 seminarians, nuns and lay Catholics attended the Mass.

There are many opportunities at the seminary, but seminarians need to concentrate more on learning, prayers and community life, said final year student John Bosco.

“I want to sacrifice myself for the people and become a good priest,” he told ucanews.com.

During its 25 years, the seminary has educated 655 seminarians, producing 91 priests and four deacons.

Related reports
Seminary Involves Parents In Formation, Establishes Support Group
Laity respond to needs of seminarians

MY12990.1638
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