Help for the training of 15 seminarians in the archdiocesan Seminary of Prague
The archdiocesan seminary in Prague is one of just two seminaries in the Czech Republic. Currently there are 15 young men here, from five different dioceses, training for the priesthood. Their future task as priests will be no easy one, since with 34% professing no religious denomination and a further 44% giving no indication of any religious affiliation, the Czech Republic is one of the most atheistic countries in Europe. Just 10.4% of the population is Catholic, while another 11% belong to other Christian denominations. Nevertheless, where people have found their way to faith, there are many living communities with young families. And priests are urgently needed.
These future priests have already had an opportunity during the coronavirus pandemic to give witness of their Catholic faith to the people in their country, for they have been visiting the hospitals, offering exceptional service to the sick, and helping by making protective face masks for people to wear.
The Czech Republic is one of the countries most severely affected by the pandemic – both within Europe and more recently even in the world. According to official figures, by mid-March 2021 some 1.45 million people had been infected out of a population of 10.6 million—that is nearly one person in every seven. The Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Dominic Duka, has actually awarded the Prague Seminary the Gold Medal of Saint Adallbert in recognition of its seminarians’ courageous and selfless acts of service.