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!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I’m outta here.

It's been rather difficult not to be, well… how shall I say this lightly… ecstatic about this being the last semester.

Coming back from Rome and entering upon what are the last days of my career here at SPS, there is a poignant and ever-present finish line that is before my eyes—in a way that it hasn't been before. Every time I hear something that is changing, some good bit of news about the future, some forecast of ill-fortune for the seminary, my thoughts quickly turn to: "the last semester." And rightfully so. As we've often been told, "No one has the vocation to be a seminarian."

There's also a different outlook upon the seminary world which has set in.

It's partially the glad recognition that the cogs of the seminary will keep turning, and that the reins must be handed over, and already are being handed over.

It's partially the grateful recognition that the Church is in good hands, that these are (for the most part…!) good men. Just the other night, I overheard an underclassman explaining to someone the Catholic Church's position on abortion and the dignity of life, as well as the principle of double effect.

It's partially the rightfully resigned recognition that (as my bishop says) "it's a big Church" and this is always going to be the case. Just the other day, I was talking to one underclassman about his Marriage and the Family course: his professor had just given a lengthy excursus on why John Paul II is extremely important (as important for the future as St. Augustine was from the 4th century to the 13th century and is yet today, and as important as St. Thomas Aquinas was from the 13th century to the 20th century and is yet today). The underclassman gleefully recounted the lecture they had just received until one of his fellow classmates walked by and lethargically expressed his boredom with the lecture. Both are respectable men; each has different interests.

It's partially the sad recognition that I will soon move away from this community, the men of this house. During our three-hour class Tuesday afternoon, the first-year theologians had a slightly longer break between classes. So as we sat in the classroom, just outside our window they spiritedly engaged in a snowball fight. Now, as my classmates and I are finishing up and moving on, they are just beginning—and they're off to a good start in building a strong community life which shores up fraternal support among future priests.

Our generation is passing away, while the next generation is just getting started.

Which brings me to the main purpose of this post: to say goodbye. In order to finish the race well, I must devote my time and energy elsewhere. It has been a pleasure to regularly author a post or two on this blog. I hope you have enjoyed it, but it is time to pass on the reins. There's a new supply of men to take over the task.

Such will be the continual course of events in the life of the priest: he enters into a community that has a long history, does his best to faithfully maintain it and build it up even more, but then must graciously hand it off to the next man who comes after him.

Thanks for listening to all of my rambling, as well as my ranting. Hopefully you were somehow edified, and perhaps even God was praised, but as for this stick in the mud, it's time to go.