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!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


I'm new here. Well, at least I think I am. I may be the only author on this blog who has the unique experience of transferring from theologate to another theologate (fancy word for the graduate level of seminary study). I can't be sure of that, though, because I'm new here as of the beginning of the Spring 2008 Semester (i.e. the beginning of February). Thankfully, my fellow Theology I classmates have done an excellent job of keeping tabs on me. If the whole seminary is going to some required, all-seminarian gathering, like, for example, The Holy Mass, someone will inevitably swing past my room on the walk to the chapel. Thanks men. You've made this a lot easier than I thought it would be.

I'm coming to St. Paul Seminary from St. Meinrad Seminary, a beautiful benedictine institution in Central Southern Indiana. It is very close to Ferdinand, IN. It is also near Santa Claus, IN. Unless you have a particular bent towards geographic detail, those landmarks probably haven't helped. Hmmmm. Let's just say its on the same line of latitude as Louisville, Kentucky.

I'm studying for the Diocese of St. Cloud, MN, that Benedictogerman (Benedictine and German) flavored Church of Central Minnesota. St. Paul Seminary is a little closer to home, actually, very close to my home parish in Elk River, MN - a fact which makes me sort of an oddball compared to the rest of the St. Cloud Diocese which seems to be populated chiefly by sportsmen. It happens every year at Vocation Camp, a gathering arranged by our diocesan office of vocations for young men interested in the priesthood. The handful of seminarians who attend the camp as "chaperones" are gathered around with the twenty-or-so campers from 8th through 11th grade. Each seminarian in turn lists his hobbies, usually a litany of "Hunt, fish, camp. Hunt, fish, camp" until it comes to me, a child of the suburbs and growing urban sprawl from the Twin Cities: "Uhm. Well, I like to read and write short fiction and poetry. Actually, my undergraduate degree was in English with a creative writing emphasis." Eyes glaze. Then we continue down the line: "Hunt, fish, camp. Hunt, fish, camp."

Don't get me wrong, I'm no enemy of the outdoors. Let's just say my background has helped me cultivate an equal appreciation for city lights and Northern Lights. As a student of English Letters, I can say with some security that I am not alone, though I am rare. While Hopkins constantly worries about towns and industry eating up his kingfishers and dragonflies, there is at least one poet who could find some wonder for the city, G.K. Chesterton. Since there is little else in this entry to serve as meat for meditation, I give you his poem "The Lamp Post" as a parting thought:

Laugh your best, O blazoned forests,
Me ye shall not shift or shame
With your beauty: here among you
Man hath set his spear of flame.

Lamp to lamp we send the signal,
For our lord goes forth to war;
Since a voice, ere stars were builded,
Bade him colonise a star.

Laugh ye, cruel as the morning,
Deck your heads with fruit and flower,
Though our souls be sick with pity,
Yet our hands are hard with power.

We have read your evil stories,
We have heard the tiny yell
Through the voiceless conflagration
Of your green and shining hell.

And when men, with fires and shouting,
Break your old tyrannic pales;
And where ruled a single spider
Laugh and weep a million tales.

This shall be your best of boasting:
That some poet, poor of spine.
Full and sated with our wisdom,
Full and fiery with our wine,

Shall steal out and make a treaty
With the grasses and the showers,
Rail against the grey town-mother,
Fawn upon the scornful flowers;

Rest his head among the roses,
Where a quiet song-bird sounds,
And no sword made sharp for traitors,
Hack him into meat for hounds.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.