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!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Oh the Sorrows of Shepherds

The office of bishop, the rank of bishop, the order of Episcopus, is an immense duty. For St. Thomas Aquinas, it is the highest vocation (state of life) possible in this life. At the same time, however, Aquinas also says that it is always sinful to willfully desire to be a bishop. Along these lines, it is often said around seminaries and gatherings of priests that "whoever desires to be a bishop deserves it." How true.

What spurs these reflections? Sadly, when I traveled down to my Teaching Parish this weekend, I was dumbfounded when I saw in all of the Sunday bulletins an insert which begins, "On May 4, Mrs. Kathy Redig, a chaplain at Winona Health Hospital, attempted a priestly ordination ceremony at Winona State University." Looking a little further into the situation, I finally understood what has been on my Diocesan website's front page for the last couple of weeks: "Reception of the Sacraments. . ." It's all right there for anyone who desires to read more.

All in all, for my bishop (and for me), it is very saddening to read and learn about. The history of understanding and respecting the equal dignity of women in the world is long and dirty - and obviously it's nowhere near cleaned up. Nonetheless, I am heartened by my bishop's response. Even now, after a half an hour of becoming informed of the events in my diocese, I have a great feeling of pride. I am proud to be a seminarian for the people of Winona; I am proud to have Bishop Harrington shepherding the Diocese. I thank God for His providential care of His people through my bishop, through his fidelity, and with his heart, which I discover more and more to be conformed to that of the Good Shepherd.

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