Commitment in the Defense of Life and Family
The diocese of Fréjus-Toulon is faithful to a long tradititon of prayer and mobilization for the defense of life and family. Its involvement in this area draws on the spirituality of the shrine of Our Lady of Graces who in 1519 appeared with the Christ Child in her arms near Cotignac. Not far away from this place, Saint Joseph appeared in 1660, making Cotignac the only place in the entire world where all the members of the Holy Family have appeared. Cotignac, geographically and spiritually in the very center of the diocese, has since become and remains a living place of pilgrimage for families, fathers, and mothers.
In our age, faithful Catholics must stand up for the Christian family, which faces grave threats from abortion, contraception, and homosexual marriage. Priests especially must be unwavering in their courageous proclamation from the pulpit of the liberating teaching of Holy Mother Church. First, the priests must encourage the laity to fight these evils, but second, without the family defended and strengthened, in the near future our churches will be empty.
The Church has been strongest in serving the poorest of the poor when she openly shares the beauty of her difficult teaching and liturgy without fear to anyone who will listen. If a priest does not stand up against the killing of unborn children and against unnatural attacks on marriage, he not only allows families to be destroyed and the innocent to be slaughtered, but also fails in his saving mission to prevent his flock from committing these grave sins.
Priests cannot strive to be liked; they must strive to save souls.
Conscious of the need to provide the families with pastors able to spiritually nourish and defend them, the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon is opening this House of Formation for priests (Saint Albert Hurtado House of Formation) led by the international missionary Fraternity of Saint Joseph the Guardian. This House of Formation gives the seminarians a strong foundation for the defense of life and family. Receiving multicultural formation, they will speak French, English, and Spanish. As priests, they will be available for dioceses and family organizations to develop specific ministries and pastoral care for families.
In the heart of the New Evangelization, we find the defense of Life and Family. The diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, with this House of Formation, forms future priests to be conscious of this fundamental duty to the Faith.