Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Retreat + A Few Days Off

As many guessed from my pre-retreat pictures, I was not headed to New England.

My hints are as follows:
- I had a week off from the Seminary for vacation
- I used five days for retreat, 3 days for vacation, plus travel time
- the retreat is funded by the seminary, up to $250
- the travel cost $37, thank you U.S. Airways Frequent Flyer miles (earned not from flying, but from signing up for a credit card years ago
- 3 vacation days hotel stay- free. Thanks to my incredibly generous Aunt Susie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

...the details will follow.....

Friday, February 17, 2012

Practicing, a Vote and a Retreat!

As always life seems to abuzz with activity. I am posting tonight at 1:00am, after a long day of classes, running around from errands, writing papers and getting ready to officially start our February break.

One of the most interesting things that has been happening at the Seminary over the last few weeks has been taking place in the Third Theology Class(my class). Third theologians have finally arrived at the point in the year in which they begin the Deacon practicum. As the traditional time in which seminarians are ordained deacons is at the very end of their Third Theology year, the seminary spends time making sure we are all trained and know what we are doing. Simple put we practice what to do at funerals,baptisms, weddings, at Mass (limited to what deacons do- preaching, reading the Gospel and serving at the Altar), etc...

It has made for some funny memories as we have been doing everything from practicing "baptizing" baby dolls, to performing "marriages"

and of course funerals

For our funeral practice we even had a real casket, generously lent by a local funeral home. The end result is that the day in which we all are ordained deacons is getting closer and closer! Despite all the fun and laughs there is a real sense of seriousness amongst the guys and a respect for the importance of what soon will happen and what we will called upon to do.

One of the other major events every spring is the big vote. The vote is when the faculty meet and decide whether to recommend each of us to move on to the next step. In my case they decide whether to recommend me to be ordained a deacon or not.

In some way it feels a little like Catholic Survivor.

Everything is done privately and discretely and no guy is not voted forward unless there is a problem, and it has been discussed with them over time. Therefore, there are no real surprises.

I am happy to report that faculty has recommended me to be ordained a deacon!

The next and most important step is what is called "the call to orders." The faculty at the seminary only recommends someone to be ordained, it is the bishop who decides, calls and ordains.

The final thing that has the seminary abuzz is the annual retreats. Starting tomorrow the Seminary closes for one week's vacation. Traditionally most guys use this time to make their canonical retreats. I am excited to making my retreat with the Franciscans for five days.

Since it is 1:25am and I am leaving for the retreat in 9.5 hours, over and out until I return on 2/26.

For once in my life I am going off line, off of work, and onto solely prayer, and relaxation!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Berlin Bound!

Today I received official word that my summer assignment will be in Berlin, NH. For those who may not know Berlin, it is the farthest north city in New Hampshire. It is also a city filled with incredibly kind and generous people. I am most excited to be heading north and to meet people from a different part of the state. I will be assisting and learning from two great priests, Father Mark Dollard and Father Kyle Stanton who are stationed in the city. My assignment does not begin until June 4th, so there is a long way to go till I get there.
In the meantime I am looking forward to meeting some of the 10,501 residents.

Berlin is just over 90 minutes from where I was born in Northern Vermont, and just over an our north of where I went to high school in North Conway.

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