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A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

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St. Vincent de Paul introduced "Retreats" for those aspiring for the priesthood to test vocations.  To those who, without thinking, enter the priesthood, he says: ". . .there is only misfortune for those who enter by the window of their own choice rather than by the door of a legitimate vocation." 

Describing the clergy of his time, St. Vincent de Paul says: "The number of priests these days is great because men regard the ecclesiastical state as easy and seek in it rest rather than work.  From this has come the dreadful disorder that we see in the Church because the priests are much to blame for the ignorance, sins and heresies that afflict it."  In fact, in Provence, it was said: "If you want to go to hell, become a priest."  St. Vincent adds: "Judging from the way that most priests are living today, I would say they are the greatest enemies of Christ's Church. . .the depravity of the ecclesiastical state is the principal cause of the Church's difficulties.  Yet there is nothing so great as a good priest."  







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                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila


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