Thursday, August 4, 2011
A Summer of Studies
Each summer as Seminarians we are assigned to work in different parishes. The idea behind summer assignments is that it allows seminarians to get a taste of parish life, learn from different priests, visit different parishes in the state and give us experiences needed for our future work. As the school year was closing out this spring in Baltimore I was asked to undertake a special assignment. As seminarians we can be given special assignments for a whole host of reasons and it is important for us to recognize that in preparing for the priesthood we are preparing for a life of service, and that means being open to whatever is asked. This summer the Bishop asked me to devote my time to taking extra classes so that I could get ahead in my studies. The end result will not change when I am scheduled to be finished with the Seminary, it will however, allow me to receive more training which can be used to help the diocese in the future.
What did those classes look like? How did it work? It actually was pretty simple. This summer I spent my days between three classes, Latin, Contemporary Ecclesiology, and Patristic Christology. Six days a week for 2-3 hours a day I studied Latin with my private tutor Father Cecil Donahue from Saint Anselm Abbey. Father Cecil was a great tutor, although I am not sure I was his brightest student. Latin was a real struggle, but Father Cecil patiently endured my lackluster Latin skills. The other two classes I took were independent studies, which meant I was responsible for a large volume of reading and writing for each. The classes worked as correspondent course of sorts, in which I communicated with professors at the Seminary via email, forwarding my work as I went. The end result was that my summer assignment was filled with lots of assignments.
I am going to be straightforward with you, this meant my summer was the best and the worst at the same time. It was great to be able to relax and read at my own pace. It was difficult having lots of work always hanging over my head and deadlines to meet. In the end I think it was great practice for what lay ahead. Life is full of many deadlines and responsibilities. The hard part is motivating, pacing and keeping on top of things. As much as I am not the world's model student, I did enjoy the opportunity to learn about some fascinating subjects (minus Latin). I also made sure to allow time for balance and for relaxation.
Now that August has arrived I have returned to my family home in Brookfield and am looking forward to my first real break from school since last summer.
My special assignment This summer I was asked by the Bishop to undertake an unusual assignment, summer school. You might naturally wonder exactly why
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Please note this blog will begin being regularly updated after August 21st (when I arrive in Baltimore).