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, December 17, 2008


I don't think it's any personal thing, but a significant number of men have noticed that I've not been around as much recently as I usually am. This, it seems to me, says nothing about my "popularity" but something about the community of this seminary.

I remember at my undergraduate seminary, anytime we left the house overnight or for a couple of days, we put a sign on the bulletin board informing the other men of the house that we'd be gone and why - death in the family, family gathering, wedding of a friend, etc... Though we don't have this custom at SPS, we do nonetheless have strong enough community life that we notice when members are gone.

This isn't anything to freak a man out - it's just the nature of good community. Everyone is valued, everyone has a role to play in the "body", and it is just not quite right when some one is gone.

And for, perhaps, the interesting part: so why was I gone? Well, for a number of reasons.

First, I've got this bad habit of falling asleep... everywhere - Mass, class, reading, driving... I know. I know. It really is horrible, and disrespectful, and dangerous, and it cheats the Church of what is owed her by her (future) ministers, etc... Well, to remedy it, the Seminary and the Diocese had me go have a sleep study done so as to determine if there is something medical involved - something more than just bad habits. (Of course, I would hope that this is the case because then it appears that I'm just another fallen human being with another weakness, rather than some lazy, irresponsible oaf.)

Second, I've previously written about the Diocese of Winona being given a Coadiutor Bishop, John M. Quinn. Well, this past Thursday was his Mass of Welcome. It was quite the event. There was Evening Prayer and reception the evening before (as is customary with Ordinations, Installations, etc...) the big day. Then that day was quite the event: I had lunch with the Winona seminarians, then there was Mass at 2:00 (the Entrance Procession of 6 seminarian-servers, 12+ deacons, 150+ priests, 20+ bishops, and 2 cardinals began at 1:40), dinner afterward with Bishop Quinn's family, friends, Diocesan priests, curia, staff, IHM seminarians... It was a full day, which concluded with my driving back to SPS in the evening. I guess the Mass was recorded and can be viewed online. If I haven't said it already, it was a great day.

Third, last and most boring of the reasons, "the crud" is going around. As one of my teaching parish parishioners said, "The upper-respiratory system infections are going around." I've had a cold for some time now and have been getting extra sleep and keeping myself to my room, so as to get over it as quickly as possible and to keep from spreading it to others. I don't know how much difference this really makes, though. From the sounds of sneezes and coughs and sniffles in the chapel, quite a few men have colds and other "upper-respiratory infections."

In this last regard, it is Finals Week. We men are finishing up papers, doing last-minute cramming, taking exams, and packing up for the Christmas getaway (thanks be to God!). If you would, say a prayer for all of us (and all students) that we might finish the semester well; and add an extra thought for those who are doing so despite a cough.