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 31, 2009

Gone Fishing

I will soon be heading out to go to a fishing tournament, which supports seminarian education for my diocese. Pray for good weather and a good turnout. I will post some pictures later.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ordination Tour - Day 2

Today, former blogger Deacon Gregory Parrott of the Diocese of Winona was ordained a priest of Jesus Christ by His Excellency John Quinn, Bishop of Winona. Likewise, deacons Allan Paul Eilen, Doug Ebert, and former blogger Michael Johnson were ordained to the order of presbyters by their own archbishop. I attended the ordination in Winona, which was beautiful. As with the last one, it nearly brought me to tears several times. I am sure the same is true of the ordination in the Twin Cities. Tomorrow, I attend Fr. Johnson's First Mass of Thanksgiving. Please pray for priests.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Big news for the Archdiocese

It was announced this morning that Fr. Lee Piche is now Bishop-elect Lee Piche. He will serve as an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The following is from the Vatican Information Service:

Appointed Msgr. Lee Anthony Piche of the clergy of the archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, U.S.A., pastor of St. Andrew's church, vicar general and moderator of the Curia, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 17,225, population 3,082,000, Catholics 852,000, priests 484, permanent deacons 217, religious 1,142). The bishop-elect was born in Minneapolis in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1984.

The Catholic Spirit has a small amount of information right now, but more will be coming in the next few days.

As for me in Sioux Falls, SD; we are getting ready for our own ordinations, it is amazing to think that next year I will be preparing for my diaconate ordination. I went over to my summer assignment last night to go to Mass and get a tour of the place, but won't move in for a another week or so because of other things going on.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Signing Off

With ordination just around the corner, my time at the Saint Paul Seminary is over and so I bid all of you farewell.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

I wrote this for last memorial day:

The 20th Century dawned with unimaginable hope. The wars of unification were over; Italy had coalesced under the forces of King Victor Emmanuel II, and Germany soon followed suit. The wars of independence, which rocked four continents, were over. At home, reconstruction was fading into distant memory, joining the war of 1812 and the American Revolution in the foggy pages of history. The Spanish-American War was a success. Enlightenment ideals of peace and prosperity joined the euphoria of liberal Protestantism. The City of God was going to be built during this century.

For Europe, the façade of optimism came crashing down as the roaring teens, the supposed age of peace and prosperity, gave way to the sober reality of World War I, yet Americans viewed it as the next great adventure. Songs like Over There with the words,

Johnnie get your gun, get your gun, get your gun; Take it on the run, on the run, on the run; Hear them calling you and me; Every son of liberty. Hurry right away, no delay, go today; Make your daddy glad, to have had such a lad; Tell your sweetheart not to pine, To be proud her boy's in line.

betray the naiveté which pervaded American culture at the time, yet 40 million dead people has a way of sobering up a nation.

Despite this "setback" (which they promised themselves would never happen again, as this war was the War to End All Wars), the roaring times took off again in the 20s, that is until another meeting with the reality of evil took place.

Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan...
Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.
Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.
Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.
Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.
And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island...
No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.
I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

-Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1941

Americans were again called to arms to defend our nation and world from tyranny and unimaginable atrocities. The annals of history record the devastation and horrors which left Europe in a dazed stupor for a decade or more to come. No euphoria gripped the populaces of America or Europe afterwards. Sadly, they were right to be wary as this war, though unimaginable in the devastation wrought, was not the last of the 20th Century. The blood of brave men and women would continue to be spilled: Vietnam, Korea, Iraq.

And so, today, we honor the brave men and women who gave their lives and are giving their lives for our country. Too many have made this sacrifice; too many more live with the trauma they witnessed. We come to their graves, adorned with flags, flags which they fought to keep flying freely, and stand in shock at the rows upon rows of white markers, knowing this scene is repeated across the country, even across the Atlantic to the fields of Europe. Muted silence, muffled sobs, and the wafting of Taps give ear to the sight. Our senses remind us of a bitter reality,

peace lost in the 20th Century.

Though war might be inevitable to fallen mankind, pray today, and every day, that this world will know the peace that only God can give. Let the greatest tribute we give to our soldiers this Memorial Day be peace. Pray that the atrocities of the 20th Century are not repeated in this one; may the optimism of the early 20th Century finally be realized in the next. Pray that the words of Paul VI are finally heeded, "No more war, war never again."

Negatively, first: the words which you expect from Us and which We cannot pronounce without full awareness of their gravity and solemnity: Never one against the other, never, never again. Was it not principally for this purpose that the United Nations came into being: against war and for peace? Listen to the clear words of a great man, the late John Kennedy, who declared four years ago: "Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind." Long discourses are not necessary to proclaim the supreme goal of your institution. It is enough to remember that the blood of millions of men, numberless and unprecedented sufferings, useless slaughter and frightful ruin are the sanction of the covenant which unites you, in a solemn pledge which must change the future history of the world: No more war, war never again.

-Paul VI’s Address to the UN General Assembly 1965

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Ordination Tour - Day 1

Today, at 10:00 AM, Fr. Steve Garner of the Diocese of Dubuque was ordained to the Order of the Presbyterate and the Priesthood of Jesus Christ by the imposition of hands and invocation of the Holy Spirit by His Excellency Jerome Hanus. Please Pray for Priests.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Well, I have finished all my papers. My thesis is written, bound, and submitted. In less than an hour, I bid farewell to what has been more or less my home for the last four years. At least in the technical sense, I am no longer a seminarian as, come what may, I am no longer in the seminary. This is truly a happy moment. I am moving forward, as one priest recently commented, to the front lines. And yet, there is a bit of a knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat. It is an odd thing that, having spent the last decade preparing to leave the seminary, I now find that I am not so sure I want to. But, change is inevitable. So, as Tigger says, TTFN - Ta Ta For Now.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


As the year comes to a close, things become more and more surreal. Guys that I have known for many years are being ordained, I have been in school almost 20 years out of 24 years of my life, in a few more months I will have another niece or nephew, and in a little more than a week I will begin a new summer assignment. This time of year is always a little difficult because of tests, cleaning our rooms out, moving stuff home or to a new room, etc. It also brings the joys of being done with classes and preparing for the summer. I have been looking at some books that I would like to finish and/or start over the summer.

The biggest help for me is consistency in my way of life. In college seminary we were always asked to set up a plan for our time away from the seminary; where/when am I going to go to Mass, pray, exercise, relax? There will be a number of men in Theology I in Sioux Falls doing CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) and I hope to spend time with them in the midst of a busy schedule for them. I look forward to getting some experience in areas that I was not able to in my last summer assignment as well. New responsibilities, new challenges, new joys to thank God for.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Summer Assignment

Last week, I received my summer assignment. I will be living in my home town but in a different part of town. The name of the parish St. Katherine Drexel and it is the newest parish in Sioux Falls. I am looking forward to having some time in a parish again. I will also be heading down to St. Louis, MO with some seminarians in early to mid June for Archbishop Robert Carlson's installation and the ordination of a religious refugee from China. Joseph Jiang will be ordained to the transitional diaconate the day after the installation.

Sorry for the lack of updates, end of the year events get to be very draining come the end of next week, we hope to be and running at full speed.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Weird Dreams

This morning I woke up at 2 in the morning after a very weird dream. The dream consisted of me not going to my teaching parish this morning for mass. I woke up and it was difficult to convince myself that I could go back to bed because it was 2 in the morning only to wake up at my usual time and get ready for the day.

Friday, May 08, 2009

New Deacons

Here is a link to the Catholic Spirit article including a picture of Deacon Nathaniel Meyers.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Priests Must Live in Christ through Prayer

This past weekend the Holy Father ordained nineteen men to the priesthood. The following is a recap from the Vatican Information Service.

My comments are in bold

VATICAN CITY, 3 MAY 2009 (VIS) - Today, the fourth Sunday of Easter, also known as "Good Shepherd" Sunday, the Pope celebrated Mass in the Vatican Basilica and conferred priestly ordination on nineteen deacons of the diocese of Rome.

In his homily Benedict XVI explained how "disciples - and especially apostles - experience the same joy as Jesus in knowing the name and the face of the Father, and they share His pain in seeing that God is not known and that His love is not returned".

Quoting then from the First Letter of John - "the reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him" - the Holy Father indicated that "the 'world', in John's use of the term, does not understand Christians, it does not understand the ministers of the Gospel. Partly this is because it does not, in fact, know God, and partly because it does not want to know Him. The world does not want to know God and listen to His ministers because this would lead it into crisis".

"The 'world'", he went on, "in its evangelical meaning, also threatens the Church, contaminating her members and even her ordained ministers. The 'world' is a mentality, a way of thinking and living that can even contaminate the Church, that actually does contaminate the Church, and hence requires constant vigilance and purification. ... We are 'in' the world, and we risk being 'of' the world". I think this last point is something that we can all be more vigilant about, engage the world and culture, but at the same time, we ought not be 'of the world'

"Jesus gave His life for everyone, yet in particular He consecrated Himself for those whom the Father gave to Him to be consecrated in the truth - that is, in Him - and who hence could speak and act in His name, represent Him, extend His salvific actions by breaking the bread of life and remitting sins".

As priests, said the Pope "we are called to 'abide' in Christ - as St. John the Evangelist liked to say - and this is achieved especially through prayer. Our ministry is completely dependent on such 'abiding', which is the same as prayer and from which it draws its effectiveness". This is a great image to keep in mind. Recently, Archbishop (emeritus) Flynn gave us a day of recollection and he devoted an entire conference to the idea of abiding and growing in a deeper intimacy with Christ.

Among a priest's various forms of prayer Benedict XVI mentioned "first and foremost daily Mass. The celebration of the Eucharist is the greatest and most exalted form of prayer and is the centre and source from which the other forms receive their 'lifeblood", he said. He also mentioned "the Liturgy of the Hours, Eucharistic adoration, 'lectio divina', the Holy Rosary and meditation". It's always a good reminder to have these in our days.

"A priest who prays much and prays well is progressively expropriated of himself and becomes ever more united to Christ, the Good Shepherd and Servant of His brothers and sisters", said the Pope in conclusion. "In conformity with Him, the priest also 'gives his life' for the flock entrusted to his care".

Prayer Intention

This morning John Kortuem, father of Justin Kortuem, (a seminarian for the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis) passed away after a long battle with cancer. Please pray for the Kortuem family in this time of mourning.