When I first started seminary I had no clue what personal holiness was really about. Prior to seminary I thought being good was enough, when I started seminary I realized I needed to work on holiness “because the people need and have a right to holy priests.” Well that was a good enough reason to start but holiness has to become personal if it is going to be real. So why am I writing about holiness when the title of this is called “The Call”? Bear with me and it might make sense.
Last night we had a Rector’s Conference during which our rector talked to us about priestly identity and one is a priest and from that does priestly things, not vice versa. The same reality applies to the vocation to which God calls each one of us. God does not call us to do but primarily to be. The expression “I do fatherhood for 3 children” is not a reality we express. Conversely, ” I am a doctor” while the correct way of communicating it in English is not a complete reality either. So when considering a call to the priesthood one needs to stop and remember it is a call, to a sacred duty yes, but a particular way of being in relationship with God. In perceiving a call to the priesthood we perceive an invitation to share in the eternal priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ. So we have two important points in considering this idea of a call. 1) It is a call to a way of being and 2) it is a sacred calling.
It is important to remember that second point, that it is a sacred calling because we need to hold it in respect, in awe, and in wonder. We are free to accept and we are free to decline must we must do both with the proper consideration, correct disposition and attitude. If we say yes it is equally necessary to maintain this healthy attitude toward the call because we can fall into a false way of thinking and turn the call inward on ourselves distorting.
So to help further reflection a some questions to think about:
1) How is my current relationship with God?
2) How do I view the priesthood?
3) Do I recognize the great grace this call and time of discernment is?
Pray about these and then find someone whom you trust to discuss these with and then pray about them some more!
This painting, The Call of Matthew, reminds us that each vocation is a personal call, and only you can answer your call. God doesn’t call somebody else to be and do what He has planned for you to be and to do. Consider it! Consider Priesthood!
So it has been a long time….a way long to time and if you’re actually reading this, THANKS!!!
So here it is October 5, 2o14, seminary has been in session for a month now. Let’s see what I can share with you…
Well since the last post we welcomed three new seminarians to our diocese, Steven Wood from Auburn, Ca; Ivan Franco from Willows, CA; and Efren Moreno, who is from Mexico. We also received a very pleasant surprise when the seminary year started, Jeremy Santos, one of our seminarians went on a leave of absence which turned out to be a very brief leave of absence. He is at St Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo, Park, Ivan and Steven are at Mt Angel in Oregon, and Efren is at Seminario Hispano de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe in Mexico City. It’s nice to have these guys in formation but please pray for more men to answer the call.
As many of you now Fr Robert Barron and Word on Fire ministries launched heroicpriesthood.com, check it out! It’s another great resource in discernment.
From last post till now the Sacramento seminarians saw the end of our summer assignments and then a few weeks of vacation. I took an epic road trip with some seminarian buddies of mine. Nate flew to Sacramento from San Diego and then we drove to Idaho to pick up our friend Mark and from there we camped a few days in Montana where we saw a fourth friend, John, and a priest we knew from seminary. The jewel of our trip was Glacier National Park.
When school start my class had to begin the process for candidacy to Holy Orders. The Rite of Admission to Candidacy will be on October 23, 2014, this rite is by where we public and official declare our desire to be ordained and the Church through the bishop, responds by promising to walk with us in our formation. Candidacy happens at different levels depending on each seminary and diocese. Next we petition and if called are ordained, first deacons, and then priests.
Yesterday several seminarians attended the annual Rosary Bowl Northwest in Salem. Some of us participated in the liturgies. It was a great event with many opportunities for Confession, Mass, to pray the Rosary with a thousand Catholics and see some other good Catholic stuff. Since it was an all day event some of us went to lunch and/or dinner together and enjoyed some good old fashioned fraternity. It was also very encouraging to see and meet so many people who pray for us.
Here are some random pictures of all that happened. Its a combo of the rosary bowl and the trip I told you about. Stay tuned for more organized posts and up to date information. I’m pretending to spear fish, I forgot my fishing pole, Nate and Mark, the Mass of the rosary bowl and the beauty of Glacier.
The last ten days have been well…kinda slow. That, however, is no excuse for not keeping up the posting. So Let’s try and recap.
Of course the most important thing is the World Cup, in fact I am sure that if I watched less soccer I could have done more posting (and other work). Radio Santisimo Sacramento is, of course, a Spanish language apostolate and is located on the campus of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. So the World Cup was a big deal…I mean big…I calculated and productivity declined to a 3 minutes of every working hour. No not really but it was in the background. The Final was a tough one, well it would have been easier if it the nations were not the fatherland of the Holy Father and the Emeritus Holy Father…I mean how do you pick one pope over another? I ended up watching the game with Joshua Keeney and Fr Avram Brown (you should be able to find info on both here in our website) It was a fun time especially since we were hosted by a warm family in Father’s parish.
There is an international organization called the Serra Club and their annual convention was hosted here in Sacramento. It was quite an event. I didn’t attend the convention but had the privilege of serving at two of the liturgies for this event. On Thursday, July 10, Bishop Soto celebrated the Opening Mass in the Cathedral. There were more than 500 people in attendance, two con-celebrating bishops and roughly 20 con-celebrating priests. After the Mass was a small procession of the Blessed Sacrament and then Saturday was the closing Mass of the convention at the Cathedral again. After the Mass we seminarians who served were invited to their banquet. It was quite an affair, and thank goodness clerical attire covers all events! The food was delicious,the folks were kind and welcoming.
Thursday night after Mass the guys and I went out and had a nice meal at Chop’s. It was two fold both because we were together but also because the next day was the anniversary of my birth. It is always good when we get together…it’s even in the Psalms “Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers live as one” look it up…
Saturday I went to Gridley, Ca to promote the radio station in that parish. Fr Avram is a great guy and it was a great visit. That weekend was a Kermes for the Cursillo group of our diocese. Kermes is a Spanish word and is sort of like a small festival, typically there is food, games, dancing but its not a carnival or a parish festival. I ran into some good friends from pastoral year so that was a pleasant surprise as well.
Since Fr Avram was so kind to let me crash his parish this week I have decided to feature his vocation story. It’s on our youtube channel. So Check it out! Consider it Consider Priesthood!
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