Friday, January 09, 2009

ITC's Ms. Angela Ambrogetti on "Vocations Among The Swiss Guard"

"Many of the Vatican's Swiss Guards have discovered their own special vocations ... to the priesthood or to the consecrated life...."

This is adapted from the following source: Ms. Ambrogetti's article cited above in Inside The Vatican magazine, December 2008.

"They stand, proud and majestic in their historic uniforms with helmets and halberds, in front of the Pope in St. Peter's Basilica.

"What are their thoughts as they stand at attention?

"At least a few of them are thinking of becoming priests, or even of entering a monastery.

"The 100 young men of the Pontifical Swiss Guard corps, which is 502 years old (founded in 1506), are the best of the Swiss youth.

"They are all Catholics, have done their military service and have no troubles with the law.

"Some of them come to Rome also to study, while others decide to dedicate their life to God during their service for the Pope.

"They are not many, just one or two each year, but thanks to them, the Pontifical Swiss Guard has the highest percentage of vocations of any group in all of Switzerland.

"Alain de Raemy, chaplain of the Swiss Guard, told us, explaining the spirituality and pastoral activities of the members of the Guard, In Switzerland, there are problems in the formation of priests , especially in German - speaking Switzerland. For this reason, many study in other countries, and it is a pity because there is the risk that our dioceses lose their vocations.

"In the Guard, De Raemy has the rank of colonel (and of course after having done his Swiss military service, which is universal), and his commitment to young people makes him sensitive to the problems of these young men, who in some cases have left Switzerland for the first time.

"[H]e said, In Switzerland there is a strong tension between the traditionalists and those who are closer to the Protestant world and [who only] see the priest simply as an expert on theology. The parish priests are not chosen by the bishops but by a council of laymen, who do not have to be practicing Catholics. Some are faithful and loyal to Rome, others less. For this reason, when these young men come to Rome, they can learn the correct balance.

"During the ceremony for the oath of the new recruits in 2007, the chaplain said: To sacrifice you life does not only mean to die, but also to offer your time and energy day after day for the Vicar of Christ, for the Church: this is a true vocation! "

A good read!


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