When you receive this issue, I’ll be in northern Italy giving conferences to diocesan and various religious seminary formators from around the world. This has become a yearly commitment of mine. About 80 attend every year, from Africa, South America, Asia, Europe and North America.

For me, these classes are like looking at the United Nations. When all these priests get together, they speak different languages, but they don’t stay in their own language groups. They mix, finding a language they can speak with others.

The program has been run by the Legionaries of Christ for 14 years. The value of this service to the universal Church is even clearer in this Year for Priests.

Some bishops’ conferences mandate — or strongly urge — the course. One seminary rector told me he doubted this was the best way to spend precious summer months. But he said the first conference alone was worth it, and it only got better. Pray for us as we meet in late July.