Did you know priests come from seeds?
The portion of his life that a priest spends in serious discernment and preparation for Holy Orders takes place at a school called a seminary, which gets its name from the Latin seminarium, which means “seed bed”. The man planted in the seed bed for that time of formation is called a “seminarian” until ordination, which is the moment his vocation starts to bear the fruit of ministerial graces.
The seminary experience is usually three or four years of philosophy studies followed by four years of theology, with conferences, spiritual direction, retreats, apostolic and pastoral ministry training and experience, all with a fishbowl-like constant evaluation. They certainly prepare you to die to self and live for Christ, which resonates well with Our Lord’s image of seeds needing to die in order to bear fruit.
We have been blessed with a unique opportunity this year to host one of these priest-seeds at All Saints, Mr. Sean Lee.
Part of the formation program is a year in a parish, experiencing the full breadth of priestly parish life. I know we’ve hosted guys for various summer assignments, but the “pastoral year” is a critically important step, where a man dives in, plugs in, invests his heart and energy in the Lord’s Beautiful Bride, the Church.
Sean will be everywhere, expected to take part in everything we priests do (except hear confessions!) and I, for one, am very excited for him. It’s a great honor for a parish to be trusted with hosting a pastoral year seminarian, as we will have a unique role in forming his priestly heart! God-willing, Sean will be ordained a transitional deacon in two years, and then a priest the summer after that.
So please welcome him as you so graciously welcomed me. And pray for this priest-seed with whom we’ve been entrusted. May he bear much fruit, fruit that lasts to eternity!
Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!
All you holy saints of God, pray for us!
In the love of Christ Our Lord,