Saturday, September 03, 2011

Exciting Times

I was up at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary this week, to meet our newly-assigned seminarian for the weekends of the upcoming academic year. It was a beautiful day for a trip to the Mount, and it was good to see all the energetic young seminarians setting about this year’s business of preparing for the Priesthood. That seminary is filled to capacity this year – around 150 men – and the faculty there were actually relieved that our Archdiocese is opening its own pre-theologate seminary this year, since by removing our men from their pre-theology program at the Mount, the seminarians there won’t have to double up in the rooms. That keeps everybody in a better mood!

I saw our summer seminarian, Rob Maro, after what seems like months, though he was here until mid-July. He was well, striding around the campus with the confidence of a returning student who knows his way around and what he is there for, as he begins his second year. He sends his fond greetings to the folks at St. Bernadette.

Now-Father Don Bedore served here for the past two years as our weekend seminarian. He is now happily laboring in his diocese of Dodge City (Kansas). This year, we have been assigned Deacon Nicholas Droll, who will be ordained a priest, God willing, at the end of the year and return to serve in his home diocese of Columbus (Ohio). He will be in the parish Sunday morning, so if you see him, say hello. If you miss him, he’ll start being here mid-September, most weekends until Thanksgiving. He knows the parish and is excited to be coming here. Watch the bulletin for more biographical information on Deacon Droll.

It is a great blessing for us to be able to participate with this excellent seminary in the preparation of young men for the Priesthood. It gives them a chance to learn about parish ministry and priesthood, and it gives us a chance to be reminded of the exciting and challenging work of entering into Holy Order and a life of ministerial service. Please, enjoy getting to know Deacon Droll as one of the new wave of men answering Christ’s call, and take seriously this chance to help teach and form him to bring Christ to the people he will serve.

This is an unusual Labor Day weekend around here, usually the last great run-to-the-beach weekend. I don’t know if the beach is in any condition to receive visitors! Be alert to refugees from hurricane Irene’s attack on Long Island: Father Nick will be back for a visit this weekend.

Of course, this holiday weekend is but a souvenir of a summer that is already over. School started this week for almost everybody, including here in our parish school. The kids were excited to be back, and many of the parents excited to be bringing them. As I visited the teachers the day before the students came, they were busily preparing their rooms and greeting one another with an air of purpose and excitement. I wished I could have walked people through the school at that moment, because who wouldn’t want their children to enjoy a school environment like that?

Many want to, but do not think they can afford it. $7200 is a lot of money (but still a steal compared to what private schools charge). I try to identify and help them with the resources at my disposal. If you want to help me help them, please, this is the time of year when I could really use a push to our tuition assistance fund. God bless you for your generosity and concern!

Monsignor Smith

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