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!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Professions, Oaths and Declarations, Oh My!

To a certain extent, I feel as though I should do another post summarizing my experience of my grandfather's funeral, but quite frankly, I haven't had the time, yet. Why is that? Well, as Tyler's last post, Consummatum est, describes, upon my return to the seminary we had Jubilemus! imminently upon us with a number of fine details yet to be worked out and attended to.

More importantly, however, was today's Public Declaration of the Third Theology men in preparation for their Ordination to the Sacred Order of Deacon. It is something which happens before ordination to both the Diaconate and the Presbyterate (and the Episcopate?). The way we do it here at SPS is in the midst of Evening Prayer. After the Reading and before the Gospel Canticle the ones to be ordained stand and read a Profession of Faith as well as an Oath of Fidelity.

Largely, these state that by undertaking the duties of the Diaconate or the Presbyterate, we declare publicly that we will adhere to the Faith of the Church and exercise the Office to be received obediently and faithfully. We then sign these forms on the altar and hand them to the Rector, who stands as a witness and representative of the Church. When we hand these in we also hand in a handwritten letter (the Church is still wonderfully old-fashioned in this sense requiring a letter penned by our own hand) stating our free-willed and non-compulsed request for Ordination, as well as our understanding and readiness to commit oursleves to life-long celibacy.

Pictured above are my three forms ready and waiting to be read, signed and handed over.

Though all of these many steps along the way to Priesthood can be seen as simply hoops to jump through, when seriously considered in prayer, they are more opportunities of grace. They give us who are going through them the opportunity to continually reflect and enter deeper into the mystery of the vocation to which God is calling us. They afford us the grace of solidifying our will on God's will. They present us with the choice of humble submission and true freedom. They allow the Church to celebrate God's mysterious design with which He has endowed the Church. They give us (God- and Church-willing) future priests excitement, a foretaste, and yet another reason to celebrate!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

God Bless you and your self sacrifice.

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