By William Lowry.
An air of suspense permeated the halls of the seminary on Sunday, as we awaited the arrival of ten new brothers to our community. I was reminded of my entry into the seminary last year, as I came through the gate my nerves were succumbed by the jovial welcome of our new brothers. Somehow I feel that the hospitality of my fellow brothers this year induced a similar response.
Though there was stormy skies on the horizon, they certainly did not dampen the spirits of our incoming seminarians (they did however, dampen our photo-op). Hospitality was our key tenet for the day, as exposited most tactfully by Fr. Des at Morning Prayer. Seminarians were remarkable keen to get a glimpse of their new brothers and families at afternoon tea. Jeff and Josh in the kitchen certainly provided a wonderful display for our guests; Fr. Stanley’s adage that “you can judge the success of a parish event is by whether the plates are empty at its end” was certainly apt in this circumstance.
After some emotional goodbyes, one particular one being Fr. Silvano saying goodbye to Peter and Tien (Our Vietnamese brothers from the Cathedral); we move into the chapel for Solemn Vespers (Evening Prayer). One thing which particularly struck me as I entered last year was the reverence and beauty of communal prayer, all our voices in unison raising our prayer to the Lord. Prayer was followed by photos and a cordial dinner, of much civility and finally our night offering to God.
Our first years will now begin their long formation to one day, God willing holy priesthood. How happy we are to receive more brothers to our community. As a community and Church it is imperative that we pray for our priests and seminarians, that they may be willing to burden their crosses and serve the Church in earnest. Please pray for these new men and for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life.