Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Big Vote

One of the rather stressful part of being in the Seminary is the annual vote. Every year the faculty of the Seminary vote on each seminarian. We joke that it is "Survivor Seminary Edition." Over our entire time at the Seminary each seminarian is assigned a faculty mentor. The mentor meets with the seminarian on a regular basis and evaluated progress, etc... The mentor is also tasked with relaying any concerns that the faculty have when each Seminarian is discussed and is the seminarian's advocate in faculty meetings. Near the conclusion of each year the faculty vote on whether a seminarian can continue in formation for the next year. The faculty can ask a seminarian to leave, can recommend them for continuance in formation, or continuance with some concerns. It is generally considered that your second year of Theology is the critical year, as they will sometimes need to let people go. I am happy to report that I was voted on for the next year without any concerns. Because of the uncertainty of the entire process, the big votes can be stressful even when you know you are all set.

Ash Wednesday

We are off and running with the start of Lent. This year I spent Ash Wednesday at Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital. Johns Hopkins is where I am assigned on a weekly basis to work as part of their Pastoral team. My work includes visiting with patients and ministering to the needs of the entire community. Together with the help of the entire pastoral care department we were able to provide ashes to over 450 patients, staff members and visitors. It was a beautiful experience to be able to be part of Ash Wednesday in this manner and I found it a powerful experience.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Please Pray for the People of Japan and Libya

This week the world has been filled with many tragedies. Please keep the people of Japan and Libya in your prayers!

A Whirlwind, Exams and a Retreat!

After a whirlwind trip to Ireland and midterm exams I am finally back to a point where things are begining to settle down a bit. The seven week stretch between February Vacation and Easter Vacation will be a long one with tons of papers and reading. However, with a little work, a lot of grace and a few miracles I think I will get there.

Today I flew up to Manchester to help with a youth retreat. I had agreed to help lead the retreat for St. Anthony's parish last summer. I kept putting off giving them an exact date I could do it on, until I finally had to commit to a time a few weeks ago.

The retreat was for an amazing group of young people with a wonderful spirit and sense of faith. Despite the fact that no high school student wants to go to an all day retreat on a Saturday, they were agreeable and a great group. Lourdes, who works at St. Anthony's was a wonderful host and really made me feel welcome. I also was able to meet Sister Cindy who is working at the parish. She shared an amazing vocation story and had a beautiful way to share her faith. A surprise helper for me was also a young man from Ste. Marie parish named Ben. Ben just returned from volunteering for the Church in Jamaica for over a year.

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Please note this blog will begin being regularly updated after August 21st (when I arrive in Baltimore).