ON THE SEMINARY FOR NATIVE CLERGY
To the Venerable Brothers, Archbishops and Bishops of South America.
Venerable Brothers, Greeting and Apostolic Benediction.
For South America, oppressed on all sides by so many trials, We are consoled to see a happy hope rise from the indigenous young clergy whom We take care to imbue with enduring piety and sound doctrine here in Rome. You know how willingly We prepared the college to receive and educate them, and how promptly, despite our limited resources, We strove to provide the necessary means for so great an undertaking. Naturally there was the problem of preparing candidates suitable for the Church, of taking care of the salvation of souls in those regions through them, and also of establishing a new clergy through them on their return to their fatherland. But since our strength is limited, We found ourselves unable to bear the burden, and so We fear that this work, begun with so great an effort and with such a bright outlook, may perish on its own. To avert such a calamity, We thus entrust this work to your love. We know that you thoroughly understand and support the necessity of carefully training an indigenous clergy to care for your flock. But, because your attention is divided among so many distractions, anguish, and cares, We remind you of this grave concern. We certainly, if at all possible, shall not fail this youth, which We embrace with paternal charity. While We predict a generous growth for it, We ask of you, venerable brothers, constancy, heavenly strength, and every consolation. And We, desiring the Apostolic Benediction to be an auspice of this and a proof of our special benevolence, impart it most lovingly to you, to the clergy, and to the faithful entrusted to each one of you.
Given at Rome at St. Peter's, September 30, 1865, in the twentieth year of Our Pontificate.