A group of Catholic women in the Diocese of San Rafael have launched a campaign to adopt the seminarians affected by the closure of the local seminary.

The campaign was launched by the association called "Madres del pañuelo celeste" (Mothers of the blue scarf,) a reference to the scarf that identifies the Catholic pro-life movement in Argentina. They said that campaign is especially needed since the future of the San Rafael seminarians is uncertain.

On July 27 the Bishop of San Rafael, José María Taussig, announced that, by order of the Vatican, the Santa María Madre de Dios Seminary would be closed by the end of 2020 and the seminarians would be relocated to other Argentine dioceses.

The seminary was at the center of a conflict after the bishop announced that, due to COVID-19 restrictions, Communion could only be received standing and in the hand. The seminary’s formation team was perceived as opposing the bishop for continuing to give Communion on the tongue.

The seminary was well known in the diocese and in Argentina, because of the large number of diocesan priests who had been trained there. It closed at the end of November 2020, without providing any alternative to the more than 20 seminarians, who had to return back to their families.

In a statement sent to ACI Prensa, the Catholic group explained that there are two ways to join the spiritual adoption of seminarians. The first is “a direct adoption, by means of which a person calls or sends a WhatsApp message and a seminarian will be assigned to that person or family to pray for him, while the seminarian prays for his adopters.”

The second way “is to become part of a movement that was born in the United States and is called ‘Seven sisters.’ In this approach, groups of seven women offer a weekly hour of Adoration to the Blessed Sacrament for the seminarian or adopted priest.”

“Between the seven, an hour of Eucharistic Adoration is completed each day for the adoptee and his intentions,” they noted.

They explained that the purpose of this campaign “is to accompany seminarians in the difficult situation they have been left in after the closure of the Santa María Madre de Dios Seminary, support them in their suffering, discernment and in their search for a solution that will allow them to fulfill their priestly vocation.”