Portraits: the seminarians of the Latin Patriarchate, Day 5

By: Cécile Leca/ lpj.org - Published: May 06 Fri, 2022

Portraits: the seminarians of the Latin Patriarchate, Day 5 Available in the following languages:

BEIT JALA/KORAZIN - Since 1852, about 300 seminarians have been ordained to the priesthood in the two seminaries of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, located respectively in Beit Jala and Korazin (Galilee). Whether they are from the Holy Land or elsewhere, all of them have, over the years, contributed to maintaining and helping the local Christian communities of the Diocese of Jerusalem. Today, on the occasion of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, established by Pope Paul VI on the 4th Sunday of Easter, which will be celebrated this year on May 8th, lpj.org invites you to discover the profile of five young seminarians of the Latin Patriarchate, all of whom are about to complete their formation.

V/ Basel Baransi – seminarian in Beit Jala

Short bio:

When did you enter the seminary?

Just after finishing high school. I studied at the Salesian Sisters’ School in Nazareth, and then I entered the seminary in Beit Jala, in 2015.

Why did you choose the Beit Jala seminary?

When I arrived here in 2015, I was a Melkite. I belonged to the diocese of Akka, Haifa, Nazareth and all of Galilee. It was Mgr Georges Bacouni, who was Archbishop of the Melkite Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Akka at the time, who sent me here to Beit Jala, after I told him of my desire to become a priest. Later, in 2020, after two years of reflection and discernment, I decided to join the Latin Rite. Today, I think that this choice I made to trust Mrg Bacouni and to come to this seminary came from God; and I really believe that this journey I have lived since my arrival in Beit Jala reflects what He has planned for me. 

For you, what is the role of a priest?

For me, a priest must lead God's people to God, through the teachings of the Church and the sacraments. A priest is like a shepherd who leads his flock to the right places to graze and drink; except that he offers his faithful not grass and water as food, but the Word and teachings of God. As a future priest, this is my objective.

What made you decide to become a priest?

When I told my parents that I wanted to enter the seminary, they were delighted. I had always been very involved in the life of my parish, I participated in a lot of activities; and for me, the priests who were present during that period were role models, men I wanted to follow.

Do you have any expectations for your future as a priest?

I have no particular expectations. It doesn't matter where I'm sent, as long as I do what God has called me to do. But I must admit that I am very attracted to teaching; I would love to be assigned here at the seminary, and to pass on what I have been taught to the future seminarians who will come here after me.