St. Charles Borremeo, Bishop of Milan, (1538-1584) lived and worked in the Church after the Reformation, and during the reforms of Trent. It was through the work and effort of Charles Borremeo that several of the crucial documents, and important precepts, were completed during the latter sessions of the Council. St. Charles recognized the need for reform within the Church; especially in its administration, and training of its priests. But his work was not without opposition.
St Charles attempted to form a loose society, or small groups, of priests for their spiritual and personal growth. A major concern for St. Charles was to have a clergy which was directed to holiness, formed in spirituality, and well educated in scripture and theology. Within this context, Charles also worked are reforming the liturgy and celebration of the sacraments.
In today's Church, especially in recent years, the Church has worked to create a clergy that would be real shepherds to God's people. Today we look to have priests who are virtuous and who have a deep concern for doing ministry in the Church. Over the last twenty some years we have seen seminary education change extensively to meet the needs of a changing Church.
St. Charles Borromeo reminds us how important it is, as a Church and individuals, to engage in conversion and discipleship. Today we talk a lot about personal witness and proclamation of the Gospel, but it is as important to have a grasp of the theology and tradition which we adhere to. As a Church we have to be faithful to the ministry portion of what we say and due. Pope Francis has been excellent in helping our Church recall its mission, especially to the poor and anawim.
The Liturgy of the Hours sums up St Charles life well, and his challenge to us, when it states: "Seek after integrity and holiness, faith, love, patience, gentleness."