Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Bonds of Brotherhood

There is something to be said about the bond between men who spent time at the seminary together. Because of daily grind of seminary life -- classes, group projects, parties, liturgies, retreats, etc -- there is a beautiful connection in Christ that develops between men. There is something more than merely a "human" connection, though lifelong friendships do often form between men at the seminary. But rather, when the the document from Vatican 2 that talked about the 'supernatural bond among the presbyterate,' there is a keen insight to a reality that happens, though not always with perfection, when men pursue a particular vocation together towards Jesus Christ.

The only thing that I can liken it to is the bond formed between men who served in the military together. Though very different lifestyles in terms of occupational hazards, formation practices, etc, there is something to be said about military men who pursue a common ideal, understand a common way of life, and who practice discipline and obedience. The recent HBO series, Band of Brothers, offers a keen insight into the life of military men; the personal interviews with the actual men upon whom the series is based gave new meaning for me as to necessity of kinship in military service.

Military kinship begins, oftentimes, during camp. Likewise, fraternity among priests oftentimes begins at the seminary. When men leave the seminary, the whole house feels a loss. But when we see them again, there is great joy at being reunited with those with whom we lived for a time. Hence, when I was browsing the Pontifical North American College website, I stumbled across the pictures of two men who spent time at SPS. They were asked by their bishop to study in Rome for Theology. Off they went, perhaps with excitement at having been given the opportunity to study in the heart of Catholicism, perhaps with heavy hearts having to leave the men with whom deep bonds of brotherhood were formed. I look back fondly -- as well as many other men at SPS -- on the memories I have with these men during their days of Pre-Theology. Though our paths to the priesthood have taken different courses, the bonds of fraternity still exist. We continue to wish them well in the preparation for priestly ministry and eagerly look forward to the day when we begin our days no longer as brother seminarians but as brother priests in service of the Lord and of His People. Currahee!

PS ... Our long lost brother was lost and now is found! Not that I forgot about the 'golden baritone' of the Saint Paul Seminary, but I couldn't find his picture on the NAC website. With what wonderful memories do we have of him playing in the pep band, singing the hit single from the seminary, Our Lady of Knock, and general merriment with him.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Images of the Borromeo Weekend 2006

To refresh your memories!

Our Lady of Guadalupe images

These pictures are from the beautiful celebration of the mass on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We were joined by a young mariachi group from OL Guadalupe parish in St. Paul; even Juan Diego himself came (no, he didn't rise from the dead. Jorge portrayed St. Juan Diego during the Offertory of the mass). It was a wonderful way to honor our Blessed Mother.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

YouTube and the seminary?

So I was browsing around YouTube recently, curious to see what sorts of 'Catholic' clips I could find there. Lo and behold, I found something posted last semester from our minor seminary, St. Joyn Vianney. I was quite surprised to find this, and curious to see what they would put on it. It is an impressive video, especially seeing that it was 'home-grown' ... I think that one of SJV's own men put the 10 minute video together. I know the men there well; they are indeed my younger brothers. Even though I'm at the major seminary in graduate level studies, I try hard to get to know the men at the minor seminary. Some of them are my dearest brothers in Christ. The are a great example of young men who are trying to pursue the Lord in their lives .... and they are quite joyful about it. It is a beautiful witness of manly men pursuing a call to follow Christ with every ounce of their being. They are a constant inspiration to me.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


The Letter to the Hebrews, in all of its eloquence and beauty gets a little old after four weeks. We are now only in week two, with two remaining and I find myself thinking at Mass, “When are we going to hear from a different book?” While I have had this experience several times since becoming a daily communicant, it has become all the more clear to me this week. Occasionally at the parish there arise situations where the pastor has to be gone and is unable to celebrate Mass at the regularly scheduled time. Usually this means that the permanent deacon or I is asked to lead a Communion Service. Though I am opposed to this practice in principle, I do relish the events inasmuch as they allow me to practice preaching in front of a real congregation (This is a legal and licit practice.) So, this week I have led two communion services and each time I looked at the readings from Hebrews I asked, “What on earth am I going to say about this?” Thank goodness for the Gospel. As I said, Hebrews is a beautiful letter, and I have found it to be a fruitful piece of Scripture with which to pray. But it’s awfully hard to preach on it.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Don't bother reading this, I'm just venting

Allow me to vent a moment:

I am reaching my threshold for the music of Bernadette Farrell, David Haas, Bob Hurd, Marty Haugen, and their ilk. They have a stranglehold on the music that is used in parishes around this nation, and as a result, on any given Sunday, one can expect to hear “Christ be our Light,” “Gather Us In,” “We are Called,” or some other banal melody with saccharine lyrics. I am perfectly aware that I have my own tastes and preferences, and that some people do, indeed, like these hymns. In fact, there was a time when I liked them. There are moments when I still like them. However, these hymns utterly fail to capture even a tiny portion of the majesty of God or the great mystery that shrouds all that we do. And, because everyone in the pews knows these songs, we settle for them. It is more important to use music that we know (mediocre though it may be) than to sing inspiring or transcendent songs. I understand the argument. I follow the logic. But how are we ever going to learn anything new? This is not a criticism of the people who play this music. I think that they do a fine job of it. I also think they would do a fine job with some other music too.