Friday, October 12, 2007

A Week at the St Paul Seminary

Tyler from the St Paul Seminary's Future Priests of the Third Millenium, talks about his week:

Though my memory is not the greatest, I wish to review a bit of the week.

Other than attending the ordinary 15.5 hours of class time, the four hours of Mass (appx. 40 minutes per daily mass), the (optional) daily 6:00am holy hour, the two and a half hours of liturgy of the hours in the chapel, the two-hour Wednesday spiritual/pastoral formation, the daily 8:45pm rosary (though my attendance at this did not always work out), the daily 9:15pm night prayer, the Wednesday morning and evening social with faculty in the morning and then just amongst the priests and seminarians in the evening, the Monday night dinner, here were some of the other events:

Last Sunday we attended the installation of Knights and Ladies into the order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem from 1:30-4:30. This event was amazing and awe-inspiring. The liturgy began with an approximate 500 person procession; that's right, almost every knight and lady processed into the Cathedral, along with seminarians, priests and bishops. Then, Archbishop Burke of St. Louis presided over the installation of new knights and ladies. Archbishop Flynn presided over the Mass.

Which, by the way, really is awefully fitting for an SPS seminarian such as myself. It really hit me tonight. I am one of some 20 or so men studying here at this seminary who are not from nor studying for this Archdiocese. Nevertheless, residing in this diocese, there is a way in which we seminarians from other dioceses show the honor, respect and obedience to our own bishop by honoring, respecting and obeying the Archbishop of this local Church. Hence, as the Divine Liturgy called for us to name not only our holy father but also our bishop ("We pray for N., our Pope, and N., our bishop, --protect them and in your goodness make them holy."), though not a single one of us praying together were from this Archdiocese, nevertheless, we prayed for the visible head of this Archdiocese: Harry, our bishop.

On Monday we had the Serrans here. Quoting one of my brother seminarians, "On Monday, September 24th, the St. Paul Seminary was treated to a wonderful evening of worship, food and conversation during the annual Serra Mass & Steak Fry. The steak dinner, which is usually held outside, was moved inside this year because of rain. However, this did not stop the nearly 250 representatives from eleven different Serra clubs, seminarians, staff and other guests from having a great time. The Steak Fry is always one of the highlights of the year for seminarians, and is one of the many ways in which the Serrans continue to foster and support vocations. Thank you Serrans!"

For myself, Wednesday afternoon was occupied by traveling out to the parish where my spiritual director is pastor and receiving an approximate hour of spiritual direction. Since the Holy Spirit is directing each individual soul, adequate discernment is of utmost importance in order to carry out God's will in each's life. For those of you who may not know, to make that discernment more conscientious and purposeful, we seminarians meet with a priest who guides us in the discernment of God's will once every two weeks.

On Wednesday evening, Dr. Christopher Thompson (our Academic Dean, beginning his second year as Academic Dean of the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity this year) organized an open-to-the-public panel discussion of the pope's July Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum. Three of our priests on faculty insightfully discussed the Apostolic Letter issued "on his own initiative" ("motu proprio") from various perspectives: Fr. Christopher Beaudet (Canon Law), Fr. Andrew Cozzens (Sacramental Theology) and Fr. Thomas Margevi?ius (Liturgical and Pastoral Theology). They similarly each answered the questions raised by those attending, if it was in their area of expertise.

Thursday evening a number of the men celebrated the birthdays of two of the fourth year deacons by going out for dinner. In this vein, a thank you is due to all those who support us seminarians by way of grants and other similar means. As already noted on this blog, fraternity is an essential element in the life of the priest. Little events such as this foster the ongoing fraternity of priests who are to be closely knit as one presbyterate supporting and assisting the bishop for the purpose of the unity and sanctity of the local Church, always with and never without communion with the universal Church.

Friday evening was an evening filled with studies, for myself. Today was much of the same, studying and preparing to write the four papers that are coming due this week.

All in all, a week filled with opportunity for continual conversion, continual reception of the grace God offers and the pursuit of the quickening and realizing of the Kingdom of God in the end days and in the here and now.

No comments: