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, November 05, 2008

Broken Crosiers

This is a story about having a positive attitude towards an awkward day.

Archbishop Nienstedt comes to the Saint Paul Seminary and Saint John Vianney minor seminary often to celebrate Mass and meet with the seminarians. On Monday, he was with the Saint John Vianney minor seminary in the morning for Mass and with us here at the Saint Paul Seminary for noon Mass.

Before I go on with the story, here is the essential background: there are several symbols of the office which a bishop uses in a liturgy. A bishop will wear a mitre (see left) during processions and while listening to the the readings from the Bible during liturgy. Another symbol of his office is the crosier; this is reminiscent of a shepherd's staff in that he, as bishop, is in charge of guiding and protecting the flock within his diocese.

On this past Monday morning, as stated above, Archbishop Nienstedt was going to celebrate Mass at Saint John Vianney (SJV). While they were preparing for Mass, one of the SJV seminarians snapped and broke the top of the archbishop's crosier - breaking off the "hook" piece. This was, even according to Archbishop Nienstedt, an accident.

Now, if that was the whole story then we would simply have an embarrassed undergraduate seminarian and an archbishop about to put in an order for a new crosier. However, the archbishop had a "spare" crosier which he used to celebrate Mass with us here at the Saint Paul Seminary later on Monday.

Here's the twist: as we were preparing for the liturgy, one of our priests broke the bottom piece of the archbishop's "spare" crosier! Now that's what this author can only guess would be an awkward day for the archbishop: visit two seminaries and break two crosiers in the process.

This author must also include how masterfully His Excellency handled the situation. He told us - the Saint Paul Seminarians - the story, and with both a chuckle and smile merely indicated that this may be a "rough" day. Now that's grace under pressure.

To our reverend archbishop: we love you, we are thankful and grateful for your service and example, and we're so very sorry about breaking your other crosier. I hope it's not too bold of me to promise when you next visit the Saint Paul Seminary we will take extra care to ensure that both you and your crosier are perfectly safe.

Take care, -Jeremy

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