It’s been awhile since I’ve posted in such quick succession so I’m almost at a lost as what to say but here we go.
Last Thursday was graduation at Paradise High School and so I went up, we had a number of kids graduate most of whom were in either youth group or Confirmation class. It was a nice ceremony. All things considered it was brief, funny and most importantly recognized the both the accomplishment and future of these young adults. Then followed a few graduation parties.
Saturday was Fr Eric Flore’s ordination day. It was, as always a beautiful event. At one point I was standing next to Mike Ritter during the ordination rite proper and thought “Mike’s next” and then after that “Wait! That mean’s after Mike’s class I”m next”. Eric’s joy was inspiring and encouraging.
Sunday I was in Paradise again and Sunday evening I was the Master of Ceremonies for Eric’s Mass of Thanksgiving there. Fr Eric ( I keep forgetting) did his pastoral year there and so after celebrating in St Joseph’s in Lincoln where he did pastoral ministry in his deacon year. He had a great crew of kids serving and our very own Jeremy Santos was the thurifer. I don’t doubt that a few vocational seeds were soon on that great day of celebration. Fr Eric celebrated well, only a few rookie mistakes ;).
While I was up North our FIAT crew was at St Vincent’s in Vallejo, I heard they spied a few guys taking literature that was put out. This coming week they will be at St Joseph’s in Vacaville. Please keep them in your prayers.
Sadly, a priest in Phoenix, AZ, Fr Kenneth Walker, FSSP, was murdered in the rectory by what are believed to be burglars. The priest he lived with was hurt badly and is in critical but stable condition. Fr Walker was only 28 years old and two years a priest. In your kindness pray for them both.
In two weeks we begin our discernment activities for this summer and so far we have five people interested. Please pray for the events and that the Holy Spirit will move many men to answer the call and give them the courage to do the things necessary for their vocation.
Stay tuned for more info and hopefully photos of all that’s going on!
Sadly Pastoral Year has come to an official end, I”ll be helping a bit on the weekends in Paradise but during the week I have a new ministry in Sacramento. Currently I am helping out at the Spanish Catholic Radio Station in Sacramento which is located on the campus of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I’m also living in the rectory. In July I’ll be going out with a few other seminarians to parish to do vocations promotions.
May was full of a lot of lasts in Paradise, some I knew were lasts others were surprises. Down the road I”ll share more about the experience of Pastoral Year.
During the Priest’s retreat I turned my ankle which was very, very, very, verrrrrrrry painful. Fortunately it is healing and I am just about up to speed. After the priest retreat, which all pastoral year seminarians attend, was the annual Seminarian Workshop and Retreat. The location this time was different, by and large our retreats are at the Christ the King Retreat center but this time we moved up to Auburn and used the beautiful Mercy Center.
The Seminar was focused on Youth and Young Adult Ministry, it really was eye opening about the needs and reality we will face in the future. The retreat part was spent drawing us back into focus on the nature of our vocation and how it is a call to relationship with God. As always being united with the brothers brought a lot of good to each of us. While we might gain a lot from the formal parts we take great joy and benefit in being united as brothers. These times together help us celebrate, enrich and strengthen our vocation.
In the whirlwind of May much happened. St St Thomas More we received a number of converts, had First Communion and a baptism. My own niece made her First Communion and at my home parish we had Confirmation. Our new pastor and I were able to get to know each other a bit more as and Dean helped out at Confirmation. Dean, who posts here on Consider Priesthood, and I are parish brothers-that is from the same parish. It was a great time to serve the Bishop as he confirmed the 8th graders of our parish and to share in a meal with him and others after.
In roughly two days Rev Mr Eric Flores, by the grace of God, will be ordained a priest in our Cathedral. After being ordained this Saturday he will celebrate Masses of Thanksgiving in different places. In July he will begin his assignment as parochial vicar of St Mary’s in Vacaville, CA. Please keep him in his prayers as well.
Bishop Soto has also called two seminarians to the order of Deacon. Michael Ritter and Victor Gutierrez will be ordained at Mt Angel Seminary in October.
This weekend begins our first Fiat Mission which will take place at St Vincent Ferrer Parish in Vallejo. Soon we will be releasing dates for other discernment opportunities from the FIAT crew.
Well, another academic year is completed. By the time of this posting, most seminarians from around the country will have returned to their home dioceses. These first couple weeks of summer often serve as a time to visit family, go on vacation, and relax after the rigors of final exams at the seminary. For my own part, after I returned home to Sacramento I had the joy of visiting Lake Tahoe and celebrating my niece’s first birthday with family and friends. This coming week I will help out with confirmations at my home parish, celebrating with my parish community and Bishop Soto a crucial moment in the life of these young people. Please keep them all in your prayers, and please pray for me and Alex as we prepare ourselves and the other servers for the Mass!
Do not think, however, that the entire summer is spent relaxing! No, the life of a seminarian during the summer, while different when compared to the school year, is just as busy and filled with numerous opportunities for ministry, prayer, and continued discernment and growth towards God’s will in our lives.
Case in point: the seminarians for the Diocese of Sacramento recently received our summer assignments, and they are as varied as the seminarians themselves. Some of us will be serving in parishes, some will be headed to Mexico for language immersion, while still others will be headed to their home countries to visit family. In our Diocese, some of us also serve on what we call the “Fiat Missions.” I and several other guys, including Alex who is a frequent blogger here on Consider Priesthood, will be traveling around the Diocese, giving talks and mini-retreats at various parishes. These retreats are meant to foster and encourage vocations, specifically to the Diocesan priesthood here in the Diocese of Sacramento.
As the group of us travel around the Diocese, our hope is that we can share with you all, especially those of you who are discerning a call to the priesthood, the joy and gift of this wonderful vocation! We hope to share how seminary has helped us to grow closer to our Lord and how He works in each of our lives. Participating in the Fiat Mission throughout the summer is always very edifying for me, as I get to hear the stories of my brother seminarians and how they came to where they are now. Our hope is that through the sharing of these stories, as well as sharing what it is like to be a seminarian in our Diocese, we will be able to encourage some of you to make your own “fiat,” to say yes to the Lord and to consider priesthood.
Please pray for us; know that you remain in our prayers always. As I travel around the Diocese with my brother seminarians during the Fiat Missions, I will try to get a post up here and there detailing my experiences. The summer promises to be exciting!
Pax et bonum.
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