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, September 06, 2008


I do not know if I have mentioned it before or not, but I am currently pursuing two degrees simultaneously. The first is the Master of Divinity (M. Div.) degree. This is a pastoral degree which almost all priests receive during their theological studies. Its emphasis is most often the applicability of theology two the practice of ministry, and the assignment for courses for this degree are often geared toward the practical application of theology in the parish. The second degree that I hope to obtain before the year ends is the Master of Arts in Theology (MAT). This degree is the more typically academic degree with a focus on research, theory, and method. For this degree, one must prepare a thesis and complete comprehensive exams. The time to begin writing the thesis has arrived, so today, after writing this, I will write my thesis proposal with a basic outline of what i hope to accomplish. You, dear readers, get a sneak peek.

Posts from this summer have indicated the presence of Native American Indians in my diocese. While some are Catholic, many are not. Even among those who identify themselves as Catholic, their practice of their faith is negligible. Catholic missionaries have been present to the Lakota for well over a century. Why, then, do their efforts seem to have been mostly ineffective? This question is particularly pertinent to me when compared to the evangelization of Mexico. Mexico was populated by its own indigenous people, the majority of whom eventually were converted to Catholicism, to the point that Mexico is often (though perhaps inaccurately) called a Catholic Nation. In my thesis, I intend to investigate the means by which Mexico became a Catholic nation. Because of the scope of this topic, I will not have time to prepare a similar study of the Lakota. Nevertheless, it is my hope to one day complete this work so as to be able to then prepare a comparison of the evangelization of the two cultures. Stay tuned. I will provide updates about this investigation as my research progresses.


J. Thorp said...

Oh, I can't wait to talk to you post-thesis!

Adoro te Devote said...

Very interesting! I've wondered about it too, having heard so many stories from the YM who heads a Mission out there every year.

One thing about Mexico...Our Lady. Also, the methods used by the WISE Missionaries, comparing the Native religions to Catholicism in some ways. For example..the brutality of the sacrifice of Christ. If you go to Mexico, you will find Jesus often portrayed in a crystal coffin as He would have laid in the tomb...bloody, bruised, gory. We don't see that a lot here. But I'm not sure such an image would work with the Lakotas...they didn't have the same bloody culture of sacrifice.

There are SO MANY factors in such a project.

Do you know you can visit areas in Mexico that are VERY Catholic...but VERY cultural? They have so incorporated their new beliefs with the old, that it takes the best of both, and yet they are so devout as Catholics, most of us are put to shame. Yet they live as though 200 years or more in the past. Funny, I was thinking of that village just this morning.

I'm VERY interested in your research. Please keep us all updated!

Hubba said...

I think the main reason is my Birthday Girl, who you have pictured...
Native American Indians? Isn't that like saying "Sahara Desert?"

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