Saturday, September 13, 2014

Turn, turn, turn

You may not realize it, but this parish has a revolving door – it just happens to be in the rectory.  This week we are welcoming our new weekend deacon from the seminary, and saying goodbye to our pro-tempore parochial vicar who, oddly enough for a priest, has to go back to the seminary.
Father Seith may be ordained, but he is not yet done.  He has a year of work to do to complete his License in Sacred Theology, a Pontifical degree that will make him eligible to teach Moral Theology in any seminary or Catholic institution.    Meanwhile he will live in the same seminary he has inhabited for the past four years, the North American College in Rome, as a member of its 275-member student body.  To the casual observer he will be indistinguishable from the ninety percent who are not yet priests, unless Mass is being celebrated, in which case he will be vested and participate as a concelebrant.
Over the past two months I threw at him everything I had – and everything we have – to give him an immersion experience in parish priesthood.  He took it all and came back for more.  I know it would not displease many of you if he were to come back to stay, and it would not displease me (or him, I daresay) if you were to make that an intention of your prayers.  But until the will of God and His Eminence be revealed in the matter, thank him for his help to us all this summer, wish him well in his coming academic endeavors, and promise him your prayers of support.
On the incoming side of the spin, many of you met Deacon Stephen Graeve last weekend.  He will be here seventeen more weekends throughout the year.  As usual, I asked him to write up some information about himself for you to have some background.  As usual, his way of responding, as much as its content, tells us we have a new and unique participant in our life in Christ here at the parish.  Welcome him.
Monsignor Smith
Biography: Deacon Stephen Graeve
Family: To begin with, I am a Son of the Father, Brother in Christ, and Temple of the Holy Spirit! I also have a wonderful family on this earth. My father Bill is an accountant for Hobby-Town USA and my mother is a nurse at Madonna Hospital. I am the oldest of four. My sister Stephanie is a nurse in St. Louis; my brother Matthew is in the Navy, currently stationed in Virginia Beach; and my other sister Rachel is studying to be a psychologist in St. Louis.
History: I was born in Omaha, Nebraska on October 4, 1988. We moved to Dallas, Texas and finally to Lincoln, Nebraska, where I grew up. I attended St. Peter’s Elementary School and Pius X High School, graduating in 2007. I chose to go to Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio to discern my vocation. It ended up being a good choice because I transferred to St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, Nebraska the next year. After graduating in 2011, I began my theological studies at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. I was ordained a deacon on May 23, 2014 and, God willing, I will be ordained a priest on May 23, 2015 for the Diocese of Lincoln.

Personal: I enjoy the outdoors: hiking, camping, jogging, golfing, and most recently, fishing. I also thoroughly enjoy a good book. In particular, I like to read J.R.R Tolkien, C.S Lewis, and Graham Greene. Being from Nebraska, I love the Cornhuskers, Denver Broncos, and Kansas City Royals. Finally, I enjoy traveling. I have had the privilege to go to Sydney and Madrid for World Youth Day, as well Rome for a summer abroad program for seminarians. I have definitely come to appreciate the universal aspect of our faith, where I can go into any Church throughout the entire world and still encounter Our Lord!

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