Photo by Cornelius Vianney Ching

SINGAPORE – The feast of St. John Mary Vianney was celebrated with Solemn Vespers and Mass at St. Francis Xavier Major Seminary on Aug 4.

St. John Mary Vianney was declared Universal Patron of Priests by Pope Benedict XVI when he declared the Year for Priests. This is the 150th anniversary of the saint’s death.

The ceremony was led by Archbishop Nicholas Chia and attended by the Seminary Fathers and seminarians, a number of aspirants discerning their calling to the diocesan priesthood, and Fathers Paul Ngo, Christopher Lee and James Tan (photo).

Archbishop Chia, in his homily, said that the need at the present moment is not “more priests” but “quality priests” who will be able to touch the hearts of people, and who can live a life of simplicity and poverty in detachment from the materialistic world. For these virtues he offered them St. John Mary Vianney as model. Quoting Blessed Mother Teresa, the archbishop said, “God does not depend on your ability but your availability.”

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