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Ioannes Paulus PP. II
Ecclesia in Africa

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  • CHAPTER V
    • I. Agents of evangelization
      • 97
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Priests

97. Deeply grateful to all the priestsdiocesan and members of Institutes — for the apostolic work they are doing and aware of the demands made by the evangelization of the peoples of Africa and Madagascar, the Synodal Assembly urged priests to live their "faithfulness to their vocation in the total gift of self to their mission and in full communion with their Bishop".193 As for the Bishops, they are to see to the ongoing formation of priests, especially in the first years of their ministry,194 helping them especially to deepen their understanding of sacred celibacy and to persevere in living it faithfully, rec- ognizing "this surpassing gift which the Father has given them, and which the Lord praised so openly. Let them keep in mind the great mysteries which are signified and fulfilled in it."195 This formation programme is also to give particular attention to the wholesome values present in the priests' surroundings. It is appropriate moreover to mention that the Second Vatican Council encouraged among priests "a certain common life", that is some kind of community life in the different forms suggested by real personal and pastoral needs. This will contribute towards the growth of the spiritual and intellectual life, of apostolic and pastoral ministry, of charity and mutual support, especially with regard to priests who are elderly, sick or in difficulty.196




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