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, November 10, 2007

Father or brother?

Seminary is an interesting time for the Catholic man pursuing the Lord's will in his life. I myself entered seminary only after two years at state universities--the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and Minnesota State University, Mankato (studying Physics at both). Then, I entered seminary formation at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary (which is associated with Saint Mary's University, Winona). I squeezed a Philosophy Major into two years at the college seminary (IHM) and then continued on in Theology School at the Saint Paul Seminary.

College seminary is more focused on acquiring the necessary human maturity (emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual). It attempts to make the seminarian a good Christian, a man who is responsible, faithful, discerning, courteous and chivalrous. Theology school, on the other hand, is focused not simply on the foundational elements of living a life of Christian manhood but furthers this formation by helping him to appropriate Christ's own life of priestly service as his own. Theology school attempts to form the good Christian man into one who is present, advises, directs, administers, presides, forgives, sacrifices, prays in the name and person of Christ.

Anyhow, why am I writing all of this? Well, it hearkens to a previous blog post which touches on the difference in age and level of formation in priestly formation. I've been thinking recently about our own interaction with the priests here at the seminary. Recently, many of my classmates went out to dinner with one of the priests on faculty and had a good time, trying new beers, ordering some very interesting yet tasty foods (check out the menu at The Happy Gnome) and chatting about whatever came to our minds. While in college seminary, at the more fundamental levels of priestly formation, the appropriate and ordinary interaction with priests is more formal in tone. However in theology school, the interactions progressively become less formal and more fraternal; appropriately so! After all, if we are to be trained to live the life of the priest, our interactions with those who will sooner and sooner be our brothers in the presbyterate ought to take on a more and more brotherly character.

Obviously, these priests at the seminary are still my formators. Some of them still have me in class. They still have to make a rather disinterested judgement regarding my suitability for priestly ministry and ordination. Having too close of a friendship with one or several of the formators would detract from and harm the formation which ought to take place for myself and the other men around me. Yet, as I continue on the path to ordination, there are little bits and pieces of the life I will live after ordination (like the recent dinner) which I experience now and only serve as catalysts, impelling me to more fervently complete my training and accomplish the will of God in my life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great post,god bless you

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