Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A step back...

Having returned to the seminary to start my next semester, I'd like to take a step back and reflect for a moment on a couple of the often unspoken aspects of the seminary experience.

First, after spending ten weeks in Antigua, Guatemala, a city that by no stretch of the imagination could be called "quiet," I have been struck by just how easy it is to find a moment of silence to listen to the "small, whispering voice" of God speaking to me. One has to want to find this experience in the seminary, for sure, as there are many things within the community that can distract you from that silence (good things, of course, but the point is that the silence is there when you choose to enter into it). I've found refreshment by simply placing myself within this experience of silence during these first couple of weeks.

Another part that we seminarians often forget is the cost of our seminary education. None of us forgets the fact that many faithful, committed people back in our dioceses and who support our religious communities make many sacrifices to provide for our years of formation as we prepare to be the ministers of the mysteries of our faith for this generation and generations to come. But we do sometimes forget that we seminarians, aside from giving ourselves wholly to the process of formation, can share that burden somewhat by seeking out scholarships like those offered by the Knights of Columbus and Logos Bible Software. Each year, the Knights provide scholarships to Catholic seminarians currently enrolled in a four-year theology program. The awarded funds apply directly to the tuition/room & board costs for the seminarian and thus lessen the burden that the people from their home diocese or who support their religious community must bear. Another innovative program has been initiated by the Logos Bible Software company. They are providing a seminary scholarship to a seminarian of any Christian denomination as a way of promoting the ministry of spreading the Gospel and the care of souls. And these are just two ways that we seminarians can do our part to ensure that we are being good stewards of the generosity of all who support us from our homes.

Conscious again of just how truly blessed I am to be able to pray and study at such a place as Saint Meinrad, I am energized to give myself fully to my studies and formation so that I may one day, God willing, be a humble and fruitful steward of the ministry that God has called me to. As always, thank you for your prayers!