It’s time’s like these that I thank God I’m in seminary!

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Bruté Men, before the Respect for Life Dinner – Downtown Indy

Tonight was our senior night festivities at the Seminary. We had the meal planned out, the chefs ready to cook, and the night went off basically without a hitch. It was an absolutely beautiful celebration of our seniors, their impact on us and the seminary community and just the real fraternal and brotherly spirit at Bishop Bruté.

I am constantly amazed and so full of hope for the future of the church in American, when I am with my brothers at Bruté. As someone remarked tonight: “The Quality of our men at Bishop Bruté is some of the best.” Being in seminary, has given me the opportunity to live, pray, study, and labor in the vineyard of the Lord beside 42 men who share the same love for the Lord, for service, and who will the good of everyone. The fraternal spirit and utter love and devotion of each man to the other is something extraordinary and not explainable. I don’t even think anyone can understand it, except for those men who have spent time in seminary.

The quality of friendships, the vulnerability we place ourselves in before our brothers, the trust we place in them, and the desire for them to be holy is utterly amazing. I’ve had great friends throughout the years in high school and such, but no one has ever been a better, or closer friend then the men I am in seminary with.  I thank God for letting me be a part of their lives every day.

We say goodbye to a superb group of men in our senior class this year. I have grown close to them all and hold them in such high esteem. From challenging me to continue to stretch myself, listening to me when I’m frustrated, sharing wisdom with me and being just good solid men and brothers in Christ I couldn’t ask for anything better. I will deeply miss them but know that we will keep in touch and one day we will hopefully serve at the Altar of God together.

Tonight we received some sad news about the passing of one of our men’s close family members. News and details are still forthcoming, so I don’t want to say much, especially before the family and such have a time to grieve and get the news out. But after finding out about it from Fr. Bob after we finished our senior dinner and speeches tonight, I was shocked by the drastic change in the feeling  of the room and the temperament of all of the men. We instantly felt compassion and such sadness for our brother, all of us feeling as though it was one of our own family members.

Before we cleaned up from the dinner we all headed to the chapel to pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet for our brother, his family, and the deceased. The amount of love which was poured into that chaplet was so powerful and inspiring. It is times like this when I thank God I’m in seminary with such great brothers.

Please join us on this now somewhat somber night to pray for our brother, his family, and the repose of the soul of his family member. May we continue to pray for one another, build each other up, and keep fighting the good fight until we all meet together in that beautiful place of Heaven.

In somewhat modified words of our brother: “Let us give ourselves completely to the will of God. Life is to short to do anything else.”

Eternal Rest grant unto our brother’s family member O Lord…

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The following is a video of our Year in Review at Bishop Bruté. Check it out and see some of the glimpses of fraternity and brotherly love that exist within the walls of our seminary:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5gLgrEpRkk#t=361

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Welcome to the world of Catholic blogging: Chris Trummer!

Welcome to the world of Catholic blogging: Chris Trummer!

Chris Trummer

Chris Trummer

As is my custom, I want to wish a warm welcome to the world of Catholic blogging to Chris Trummer, a first year seminarian from Springfield, IL! Chris and his brother Michael are both seminarians at Bishop Bruté and they joined us this Spring. Chris serves with the Guard and is a trombone and guitar player. (I think, I’m right about his guitar.) He is from the area around T-Town and Effingham.  A link to his site has been added to the blogroll on the right of this page and in this post.

Chris already has a degree, but has to get his philosophy and such so that he can go on to major seminary. This is a great example of how seminarians come from all walks of life, as do priests. The one thing which they share in common though is: a love of our Lord and desire to save souls. I encourage you to check out Chris’ blog, where he has already had two great posts on some different philosophical points. He blogs at Under the Mercy.

Welcome again Chris and happy blogging!

Ite Ad Joseph! The Solemnity of Joseph, Spouse of Mary.

St. Joseph, patron of the Universal Church

St. Joseph, patron of the Universal Church

“…And Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary; of her was born Jesus who is called Christ. 18 This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Her husband Joseph, being an upright man and wanting to spare her disgrace, decided to divorce her informally. 20 He had made up his mind to do this when suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ 24 When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home…” – Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24

Today the church celebrates the Solemnity of Joseph, Spouse of Mary. What do we know about St. Joseph? The Gospel above is pretty much everything. We know that Joseph was espoused to Mary the daughter of Ann and Joachim. We know that Joseph was the son of Jacob and that he was most likely older in years, possibly widowed. We know that Mary was found to be with child and because of the laws of the time, Joseph could have turned her over to be taken and and stoned for infidelity. But scripture also tells us that Joseph was a just man and that he loved Mary. In fact he loved her so much, that he couldn’t bring himself to have her stoned so he decided to divorce her quietly. He was a man who probably was different than others of the time, he didn’t think the same way about certain laws and other regulations. Joseph also was known to have had angels appear to him in dreams, instructing him on what to do. Joseph, upon hearing the angel’s command took Mary into his home and cared for her. He fled with her and the child after his birth to Egypt, so that he would be spared from the sword. Later on in the Gospels we know that Joseph was a carpenter, due to someone saying of Jesus: “Isn’t this the son of the carpenter?”

Why do we know so little about St. Joseph? Didn’t he ever do anything or say anything else? One of his titles is Joseph, the Silent. We refer to him as silent is because scripture never records him as saying anything. Why would Joseph never say anything, what could the Lord be trying to work through him? Mary his wife is recorded as saying multiple things in the scriptures, one of the first being at the Wedding in Cana: “Do whatever he tells you.”

Perhaps Joseph is known as the silent, because of situations like the one afore mentioned. (Which, he was not around for, as it makes no mention of him.) Joseph in the beginning always accepted the will of God with a beautiful sense of humility, peace, and obedience. Joseph from the beginning did what ever God asked of him. He submitted his will to the Father, with utter faith, devotion, and love.

There is a common phrase associated with St. Joseph, often painted above Altars and shrines dedicated to this great saint. “Ite Ad Joseph” (Go to Joseph) Why should we go to Joseph? What purpose does this great saint have in our lives? We go to Joseph to ask him to intercede for us before the throne of his foster son, we ask him to help us to follow Christ more closely. We ask him to help us always receive our Lord worthily in communion and to keep him safe within our bodies. We go to Joseph asking for holy purity and holy chastity. Commonly depicted with holding a Lilly, it is the tradition of the church that Joseph was chaste, having no relations with Mary, thus keeping her perpetual virginity intact. We ask Joseph to help us to defend the faith. In 1870 Pope Pius IX declared St. Joseph as the protector and patron of the universal church. At the moment of death we also ask St. Joseph to grant us the grace of a happy death, reconciled to God and in the peace of Christ. St. Joseph is known as the Terror of Demons, thus we fly to his protection in times of temptation, asking for his defense and intercession.

St. Joseph is such a great man. By his silent witness, he shows the role of the Father in the family. Joseph was as all fathers are called to be: “Father, family protector, provider, humble servant, silent witness, defender of the innocent, and much more. Let us pray to St. Joseph on this, his great feast, asking him for his help and intercession in our lives. Let us ask him to give us an example of how to live our vocations well and answer them with a firm yes.

St. Joseph, Terror of demons, Protector of the Church, Foster father of Jesus, Patron of a happy death, Guardian of Mary and Jesus, we beseech you to intercede for us before Almighty God and grant us the graces to know our vocation, serve God willingly, and be filled with holy purity, always seeking to discern the Spirit’s will in our lives. Amen.

My Vocation Story

The following is my Vocation Story up to this point. Why do I say  up to this point? Because, it is a never ending process. Until the day I die I will always be seeking to discover and discern where/to what God is calling me to next. The following are just specific points along the way

All three of us in the Fall of 2013.

All three of us in the Fall of 2013.

that have stood out to me. Pray for me, that I may discern well, you are all in my prayers daily!

Growing up I was always encouraged to do whatever God wanted me to do. And no matter what my “ideal” job was in my mind my Mom used to always say that I should keep my options open incase God wanted me to be a Priest. Going through my life up until the 5th grade I wanted to be everything from a Construction Worker to a Veterinarian, but the thought of a being a priest was never that high on the list.

A little background before I start: I was born a triplet in the town of Quincy, IL to my parents Larry and Sue. I have one triplet brother, Brody, one triplet sister, Emily, and two older brothers: Adam and Nathan. (Both of whom are married with children now) In Quincy my family and I attended St. Peter’s which is where Servant of God Fr. Augustus Tolton, the first black priest in America was baptized and did some of his first ministry.(Because of our connection, I have a devotion to him.) My grandparents attend St. Francis Solanus in Quincy, which has had a big impact on my vocation, particularly through several of the Franciscans there.

My vocation story  really starts out in the little town of Beatrice, NE. We had moved to

Our family in Nebraska

Our family in Nebraska

Nebraska when I was in the second grade. My Dad had just got a job there and we moved to be with him. We made many friends, particularly ones from church. We attended St. Joseph’s and were blessed with two great priests. The then Fr. Mark Seiker and Fr. Finnian, who was a priest from Africa. Our faith really began to take off in Beatrice, not that we weren’t Catholic in Quincy or such, but too me it seemed to really take off. Mom was involved with the Ladies Sodality at the parish, which was blessing not only for her, but also for our family as it helped deepen our prayer life. My dad was involved with the Men’s group and we three kids went faithfully to CCD, and Mass with my parents. There is something unique thought about our time spent in Beatrice. I distinctly remember going to Holy Hours throughout the week. If memory serves, it seemed like we went each Saturday before Mass, as well as different points throughout the week. I remember Mom taking us there with her to pray, since Mom was a teacher she knew the value of good books and we were blessed to always have good Catholic books to read during adoration. We were particularly fond of books about the saints. They had a statue of the Infant of Prague in an alcove, with a basket of saint books under, that we would always peruse.

I remember even then looking at saints and praying about who I should choose as my confirmation saint down the road. (It was between John Bosco, Nicholas of Myra, and Francis of Assisi (Francis won, though I hold the others as patrons as well)) There was a statue of St. Theresé of Liseuix off to the left of the church in an alcove near the confessional, and for some reason I have always had a devotion to her since then. I remember dealing as a child with nightmares of hell, demons, etc. One time in particular I remember being at my grandparents and hearing a terrible voice saying that it was going to get me and that I was a sinner and that I was doomed to Hell. I ran out to the garage crying where my Grandma was and told her about it. Her words of advice have always stuck with me, she prayed a Hail Mary with me and told me if I ever heard the voice again to pray and ask Mary to defend me with the help of my guardian angel. Back in Beatrice I remember thinking about it and looking over at St. Theresé and seeing the shape of someone kneeling in front of it, facing toward the tabernacle, and they were shining with a white light. I asked Mom who it was and she didn’t see anything. I always took it as either a sign of my guardian angel showing that it too prayed with me and was there with me, or it was the trick on the eyes of a child, whatever it was it certainly deepened my faith.

I remember sitting and praying there in the church during the time, reading about the saints and falling in love with the Eucharist. My siblings and I received our First Holy Communion there by intinction. (sort of a neat fact) It was either at our First Communion, or our First Confession that I remember getting to sing the Alleluia and Alleluia verse prior to Fr. Finnian reading the Gospel. (I never thought that one day I would be leading the community as I intoned it at seminary years later!) The year we spent living in Nebraska was one of much peace, love, and happiness for my siblings and I. Sadly, I know my Mom and Dad struggled more than we did with being so far away from our family in Quincy, but I would have never known it.

Christmas came, and because all of our decorations were boxed up in storage, my Mom had the great idea to do an “old-fashioned” Christmas, decorating our real tree (I have yet to have a fake tree for Christmas!) with popcorn, apples, oranges, etc. I remember learning to ride our bikes in the park down the road without training wheels, the pet cemetery, the nature reserve across from our apartment where we got in trouble for catching grass hoppers for a class project. (If they hopped across to our side of the road we could keep them, go figure!) It was a time of much joy, spiritual growth, relying on Jesus in the Eucharist to console us as we missed our family and where I believe my vocation story really began. Thanks to my Mom, my siblings and I all have a great love, devotion, and sense of reverence to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and love to make Holy Hours.

After our year in Beatrice, we said good bye to our friends and apartment as we moved yet again to Marion, Kentucky where Dad had got a different job. I have lived in Marion ever since then, and while not having a Walmart or Kohls is a slight drawback, I wouldn’t change it for anything. It didn’t take long for us to get active in Marion, make friends and we had started attending St. William’s Catholic church down the road. Mom would still have us pray a family rosary, and during Lent/Advent my siblings and I got to choose devotions to do as a family each night.

Life was good and after one year of living there it came time to get a dog. We had a had

Maggie and the triplets

Maggie and the triplets

animals growing up in Quincy and because we had to put our Golden down shortly after we moved to Nebraska, Mom had promised that we would get a dog once we had lived in Kentucky for one year. So in May of 2003, my Grandma came for a visit and all of us went to Fancy Farm, Kentucky to look at Labrador Retrievers. One month later we returned to Fancy Farm and then home, this time with a growing yellow ball of fur who we named Magnolia (Maggie). Maggie was my joy, even though she had her temperamental qualities like nibbling on your back if you weren’t paying her attention, or digging up moles, wounding them, then leaving me to finish killing them. She was my best friend growing up, but I’ll continue on:

Later during the month of June St. William’s received a new pastor; Fr. Richard Cash. My family always went to the Saturday morning Mass at St. William’s and my brother and I had started serving for Fr. Bruce Fogle. Fr. Bruce is such a genuine man who really welcomed my family into the parish and was one of the first to show me that priests can have fun. (My siblings and I would have snowball fights with Father in the parking Lot after we left Mass on Saturdays.)

On the Saturday that I first met Fr. Cash I remember Mom and Dad were gone somewhere for something and an older couple from the parish who we called Grandpa Mike and Grandma Annie picked us up to take us to church. I remember Grandpa Mike pulling up in his white pickup, Brody and I sat in the bed with their dog Jake, Emily rode with them in the cab and we went to church early, so that we could welcome our new pastor.  I remember this “old man” driving up and getting out of the car and walking over to talk with all of us. Little did I know that Father was not “old,” rather he was in his 40’s and his hair was just turning grey. We all introduced ourselves and he asked if Brody and I were going to serve. We said yes, and proceeded to help him carry his things into the church. One of the things he handed us was a pillow that he told us to sit behind the Altar. Confused, my brother asked what it was for, Father replied: “Incase I get sleepy and want to take a nap during Mass.” (I later learned that Father used pillows as bookrests for the missal on the Altar.)

That day was the start of a great friendship between my family and Father Cash, one that has had a huge impact on my life. Father would come over with Aaron our organist at church to eat Easter dinner with us or come to our Mardi Gras birthday party for our grandma. He was a great role model and one whom I looked up to immensely. He taught my brother and I how to serve with the help of another dear friend: Jim Butler. Our Liturgies at the tri-parishes (of which St. William’s was a member) were always beautiful and steeped in tradition. We used incense, and torches for the procession and Consecration, we wore Cassock and Surplice, and we learned the proper ways to ring bells and polish the metal in the church.

Life was good. Then one day Fr. Cash announced that he was being moved. I remember going home and my whole family seemed sad. We knew that we would still keep in touch with Father, but we were definitely going to miss him. One of his last Sunday’s after Mass the five of us young boys who always served Mass, reverenced the cross, gave Father hand shakes for a job well done and then listened to him tell us some advice. It was in this moment that I learned so much respect for the priesthood and how to be humble. Father said something along the lines of: “Promise me that when you all get your new pastor, you will treat him with the same love and respect that you do me. He might not do everything that I do at Mass, and he may celebrate Mass differently, but instead of arguing or being angry I want you all to always remember to say “Yes Father” and do it. Every priest is different and that is good, he will bring new things that will help St. William’s to grow and you all will get to witness it, so keep serving, stay close to Christ, and thank you for always serving! You guys are the best!” These words have stuck with me and I have always remembered that even if I don’t agree with a priest he is still a priest and deserves my respect. Whenever I was asked to do something at Mass or to help the parish I would always say; “yes Father” and give glory to God.

During a Confirmation class at my Parish one day in 5th grade I had a talk with Fr. Cash about my plans in life, he said that after knowing me for awhile he thought that I might have some qualities that would be good in a Priest and encouraged me to ask God what he wanted me to do with my life. From that moment I began to have that question in the back of my mind saying: What would your life be like if you became a Priest? Throughout the years since I have always tried to ask God what he wanted me to do with my life whether it be with a secular job as a husband and father or as a Priest.

My family continued to attend St. William’s in Marion during this time until my 8th grade year, when we changed parishes to go to St. Ann which was located 45 minutes away. People always seem shocked with how far we drive to church each Sunday, driving 45 minutes, vs 5 minutes down the road, but moving to St. Ann was one of the best things we did for the spiritual health of my family and for my own vocation. (Note: When I’m home over break, I still go to St. William’s for Thursday Mass and still keep in contact with those there, as they are where I first felt called to the priesthood.)

Our pastor at St. Ann was Fr. Gerald Baker. Fr. Baker and Fr. Cash both have a love for beautiful Liturgy, something that I have inherited from them. A major part of my vocation story is from serving at the Altar and getting to interact with so many holy priests within the Liturgy. St. Ann not only had beautiful Liturgy, but they also had Perpetual Adoration. If you remember my family has a love for adoration, which started back in Nebraska when my Mom would bring us, continued to our weekly Holy Hour on Saturdays at St. William’s and continues to making time for it today at St. Ann.

I started serving at St. Ann with my brother and got to know Fr. Baker and the then associate, Fr. James Walling CPM. Fr. James and Fr. Baker loved Christ and preached his love from the pulpit each day. They increased our faith in the real presence, preached God’s mercy in confession and truly helped us to blossom and grow. My sophomore year in High School, Fr. Cash was named as our associate at St. Ann, so my family got to have both of our favorite priests under one roof.

Throughout High School, I was blessed to have several great teachers, who even though they were protestant they encouraged me in discerning seminary and the priesthood. My Ag Advisor, Larry Duvall always taught us his students what it meant to be a man of virtue, to give to others freely, and always help those in need. It was through my time in the FFA, that I gained so many valuable leadership skills and experience in leading others. Our Systems Engineer for the district Technology office, Don Winters became a close friend as I worked with him in STLP and running the school help desk in the mornings. His own ministry as a youth minister inspired me to seek to do more. Carol West, our librarian was always there ready to talk to us and encourage us to follow God’s calling. And lastly, all of my English

My new niece Winnie!

My new niece Winnie!

teachers, Mrs. Gavin, Quertermous, McCord, and Lacy always inspired me, as they read my English writings, several of which discussed what I was thinking of doing. Mrs. Quertermous even proof-read my application for seminary for me! I was blessed to go to a fantastic high school, which even though it was public, still retained it’s Christian roots and morals. The staff was always so supportive of each student in achieving our dreams.

Fr. Cash was moved my Senior year, but prior to that he helped me set up an appointment with Dr. Litke, the new Associate Director of Vocations for the Diocese and he had helped me in Spiritual Direction as well. I applied for Seminary the Fall of my senior year and was accepted right after graduation. I always joked about how it took almost 5 months to get my results back from my psychological evaluation. I would walk in the sacristy to serve Sunday Mass and Fr. Baker would alway say: “Well, Mr. Bruns have you found out if you’re crazy yet?” To which I would respond: ‘Well, I already know that!”

Pictures of myself and Fr. Cash and Fr. Baker, as well as my brother Brody.

Pictures of myself and Fr. Cash and Fr. Baker, as well as my brother Brody.

I graduated from high school as Senior Class President and the Vice President for the FFA, STLP, and Beta Club. Life was good. I drove up to seminary in August of 2012 and the rest is recorded on random posts throughout this blog. My vocation story is still developing. I am still discovering what direction Christ is calling me toward. I feel that I am called to be a priest, and that I am in the right spot for now in my life. I am engaging in spiritual and human formation and striving to become the man God created me to be. Whatever direction Christ takes me in my life, I know that he is always there watching, guiding, and guarding. I have had so many people who have walked alongside me in life thus far, and I know that there will be many more. God has blessed me abundantly and continues to do so each day, as he constantly converts my heart and calls me to himself. This is only fraction of my Vocation Story, there is a lot more to it, as well as a lot more people who have played a part. If I were to go in to everything, it would probably take triple the length of this post. So I will spare you the length!!

When was the last time that you thought about your vocation? When was the last time that you invited a young man to consider a vocation to the priesthood? When was the last time that you said yes to God’s will in your life and followed his lead? I encourage you to go, invite that

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young man at your parish to think of seminary! Pray for Vocations! Inspire Vocations by your own life and ministry! The Harvest is abundant but the laborers are few!

Pray, encourage, and invite others to think  about their vocations. Pray for them and please, please in your kindness pray for me!

 

 

 

The above piece, is one of my favorite musical pieces. Enjoy!

You mean you’ll never get married?

the-cardinal-from-warner-brosNote: This post was originally written on Feb. 14th.)

I’m sitting here in a comfy armchair, watching a movie on tv, drinking a delicious cup of Earl Grey tea and relaxing with friends. Anything wrong or strange with that? No, it sounds normal. Now here’s some more information. I am sitting a room, surrounded by 30 something pictures/statues of different popes, watching The Cardinal, surrounded by 5 other men, all my age. Sound a little strange yet? Yeah, maybe a little. Today is also Valentine’s day, it’s a Friday night and oh I almost forgot, I’m a seminarian at seminary.

Most everyone else my age are out on date’s, including married couples and they say that “love is in the air.” I’m writing this post, not wishing that I was on a date, nor upset that others are, but because of a line from The Cardinal, that struct me. In the movie a man asks the cardinal: “Can you imagine a life without making love?” I’m going to take that another way and say: “Can you imagine a life without getting married?”  (Remember, sex is reserved for marriage, not beforehand.)

That question, is something that I have heard quite frequently, growing up, though in different ways. People would say things like: “You want, to be a priest? Doesn’t that mean that you’ll never get married?” “You mean, you can’t even have a girlfriend?” “You can’t have sex?” “You’ll never have a family?” “You don’t want to have children?”

“What’s wrong with you?” My answer: “Quite a bit actually, I’m a sinner.” (feel free to laugh)

What is it that would make me, or any other man my age (even women in religious communities) want to forego marriage, not have physical intimacy with another, not have biological children, and go against everything that is seen as “normal” in today’s world?

Others.

Marriage is a sacred covenant a Sacrament between God, a man, and a woman. The two give themselves to one another in one of the highest levels of self-gift, literally becoming one flesh. The fruit of their love is children, a continuation of themselves. Marriage is good. Sex is good. Children are good. Married couples give themselves to one another, they cease to live just for themselves and the live for the other, live for protecting, caring, and providing for themselves and their children, etc. Marriage leads you to love another, but it keeps it in a select few. (family members, friends, etc.)

Back to the main question though, why would I or anyone give-up all of that? I answered that it is for others. I also stated above, that marriage leads you to love another. But what about celibacy?

Dictionary.com refers to Celibacy as: “a person who abstains from sexual relations, and a person who remains unmarried, particularly for religious reasons.”

Recently at Bishop Bruté, we were graced to have Brother John Mark Falkenhain, a Benedictine Monk from St. Meinrad come and give us a Day of Recollection on Celibacy. He started out by asking two questions to begin with:

  1. Why did you decide to become a priest? (yes, we are still discerning)
  2. What made you choose celibacy?

I have blogged before on why I want to become a priest, (actually no I haven’t, I realized that it is still a draft. I shall publish that sometime soon.) But why did I choose celibacy? That was an important question that I have been asking myself since joining seminary, and will continue asking until I make my Deacon Promises and am ordained, God willing.

What should the answer look like? I’ll get there. But first, let’s go back to my original question, of why on earth would anyone want to become a celibate? Others.

Being a single celibate, can have good financial and theological reasonings in the church. For instance: If a priest had a family with a wife and kids the financial stress that would put on the parish, people, and the priest would be immense. (Yes, it can be done, and it is with priests that are ordained from other faiths who converted. Even they speak though of the need for celibacy.) A priest would not be able to give his family the amount of time and attention that they require, as well as his parishioners. There is also the theological reasonings: namely, Christ was a single male, priests stand in persona Christi capitis (In the person of Christ, the head), thus being married, would not enable them to be an alter christus (another Christ). They could not represent him in the same way, which they do.

There has to be more though, no? It isn’t just theological or financial reasoning, as to why I would want to choose celibacy, there is something else that exists. Others.

Celibacy as Bro. John Mark pointed out, has to result in an increased capacity for love. How does it lead to love? A celibate is able to give completely of himself to others. (Hey, I keep saying that!) Being free from family, a celibate is able to give himself completely to the people of God. Okay, so that does sound a little cliché, let’s see if we can expound upon it a little.

Celibacy frees a man to give himself, body, and soul to the work of the salvation of souls. Brother John Mark started off his presentation by telling us that: “celibacy is like a box, yes it is confining, but that’s part of it.” When we gain self-knowledge, on who we are, how we define ourselves, we are then able to accept ourselves, for who we are and be comfortable with it. Only when we have a healthy balance of self-knowledge and self-acception can we hope to be able to give of ourselves in a meaningful way to others.

Celibacy calls us to love others and God more! We are called to give our desires and feelings to God and in service to others, thus taking the energy, time, etc. that we would give a spouse and turning it around, offering it to God and using it to minister to his people.

That’s not to say that celibacy is not difficult. Yes, there will be times when I feel alone. There will be times when I ask myself why I did all of this, but the end is worth it. We move through it. We focus on God and the outcome, have time for spiritual reflection, learn more about ourselves and recommit ourselves to the task of salvation.

As men of ministry we are called to give ourselves away to others, regardless of whether we like them or not. In a sense, we are called to show them hospitality and be Christ to them.

Being a celibate has its fun moments. See my blogpost here about 27 celibates singing happy birthday to a woman at a restaurant. Celibacy is not a price to pay for something else, it is a gift from God. And we recognize that that gift is something special. When I take a vow of celibacy I will not have everything that I need to live the life of a celibate. I won’t know absolutely positively for sure if it’s for me. But I will be very, very, close to being sure. As long as I am living a spiritual holy life, doing everything that I can to follow God’s will and rule in my life, I ask God to supply the rest.

And supply it he does! As a celibate, I am called to turn my loneliness into solitude. To reap the spiritual benefits, and give of myself completely without reserve to the people of God. I am called to a life of love. Not a life of spousal, intimate love; rather a life of self-knowledge, acceptance, and gift.

Sitting here in my comfy arm chair, watching a movie with my brothers is not lonely, it is not saddening, it does not cause me any turmoil. The only thing that brings me pain, is that myUnilever-on-tea-Available-evidence-supports-tea-and-tea-ingredients-for-mood-and-performance-benefits_strict_xxl tea cup is almost empty! Instead, it does the opposite, it leaves me at peace, happy, and full of life, love, and joy.

Part of the Rite of Ordination calls for the Bishop to state to the man: “May God who has begun this good work in you, bring it to fulfillment.” I pray that God will continue to draw me closer to his bosom. That he will nourish me with his body and blood, keep me close to the sacrament of confession, and send me his saving love and help. I know that by coming to seminary I am taking a risk. I am surrendering everything to the will of God, asking only that he help me become the man he is calling me to be. Right now, that is as a single, celibate seminarian, discerning a vocation to the priesthood. I pray that one day, God may draw this work to fulfillment, that I may be filled with grace, peace, and love, as I say yes to him and vow my life to a life of a celibate; loving, giving, service to his church and the people of God. May God who has begun this good work in myself and my brothers, bring it to fulfillment.

“The harvest is abundant, but the labors are few…”

Deacon Immanuel, Bishop Medley, and Deacon Will, after the diaconate ordinations, last may.

Deacon Immanuel, Bishop Medley, and Deacon Will, after the diaconate ordinations, last may.

Complete Faith in God and the Deprecatory Blessing Against Pests

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I was roaming through the Roman Ritual (The official book of blessings for the church) with a few friends in the Library at Marian and came across the: “Deprecatory Blessing Against Pests.” Below is the full text, read it and laugh, enjoy, and marvel at the beautiful simplicity and faith in God.

Something that seems to have been lost in the church in recent times is the relying on God for help. In the Old Testament we read how God instructed the leaders of the people to take their sick and ill to the priest to be blessed, prayed over, and healed. Christians seem to have lost our reliance and utter faith in God for help in our time of need. The church has a host of blessings and prayers that open our lives to receive God’s grace. So many traditions, etc. are beginning to be reclaimed and devotions are being recaptured in the church. Consider the many different ways in which you can receive God’s grace in your life. Seek him out! Find him! Deepen your prayer life! Receive his grace and love!

Here’s the delightful blessing I referenced earlier, enjoy it. Think of the reliance that the people must have had on God!

DEPRECATORY BLESSING AGAINST PESTS

(mice and rats, locusts, worms, etc.)

The priest vests in surplice and purple stole, and coming to the field or place infested with these creatures, says:

Antiphon: Arise, Lord, help us; and deliver us for your kindness’ sake.

Ps 43.1: O God, our ears have heard, our fathers have declared to us.

All: Glory be to the Father.

P: As it was in the beginning.

All Ant.: Arise, Lord, help us; and deliver us for your kindness’ sake.

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

We entreat you, Lord, be pleased to hear our prayers; and even though we rightly deserve, on account of our sins, this plague of mice (or locusts, worms, etc.), yet mercifully deliver us for your kindness’ sake. Let this plague be expelled by your power, and our land and fields be left fertile, so that all it produces redound to your glory and serve our necessities; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

Almighty everlasting God, the donor of all good things, and the most merciful pardoner of our sins; before whom all creatures bow down in adoration, those in heaven, on earth, and below the earth; preserve us sinners by your might, that whatever we undertake with trust in your protection may meet with success by your grace. And now as we utter a curse on these noxious pests, may they be cursed by you; as we seek to destroy them, may they be destroyed by you; as we seek to exterminate them, may they be exterminated by you; so that delivered from this plague by your goodness, we may freely offer thanks to your majesty; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
Exorcism

I cast out you noxious vermin, by God + the Father almighty, by Jesus + Christ, His only-begotten Son, and by the Holy + Spirit. May you speedily be banished from our land and fields, lingering here no longer, but passing on to places where you can do no harm. In the name of the almighty God and the entire heavenly court, as well as in the name of the holy Church of God, we pronounce a curse on you, that wherever you go you may be cursed, decreasing from day to day until you are obliterated. Let no remnant of you remain anywhere, except what might be necessary for the welfare and use of mankind. Be pleased to grant our request, you who are coming to judge both the living and the dead and the world by fire.

All: Amen.

The places infested are sprinkled with holy water.

Finals Week

Finals Week

Please pray for all of the Bruté Seminarians as we prepare to take our first finals today. O Mary Seat of Wisdom – Pray for us!

And just to put some cheer in the subject of Finals, I included a picture of GrumpyCat.

Prayer for National Vocations Awareness Week

Heavenly Father, Your divine Son taught us to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into His vineyard. We earnestly beg You to bless our Diocese with many holy priests, seminarians, religious, consecrated, deacons, marriages, men and women serving in ministry and all vocations, that they will love You fervently, gladly and courageously spend their lives in service to Your Son’s Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

We pray that their lives may be always centered on our Eucharistic Lord; that they be always faithful to the Holy Father; and that they may be devoted sons and daughters of Mary, our Mother, in making You known and loved; and that all may attain Heaven. Bless our families and our children and choose from our homes those whom You desire for this holy work. We ask this in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

 

Pray for Vocations!! nuff said!

Back in the Castle on the Hill

Well, I’m all unpacked and ready to start my next semester of College Seminary tomorrow Morning. Please pray that I am able to wake up, as last semesters first Mass my roommate and I didn’t. Haha. I will also be sharing my Great-Grandmothers gift to our family; the Tradition of the New Years Eve Pretzel. If I remember the story correctly her father asked her mother to make them when he married her after they moved from Germany. And then it was passed down from Grandma Carrie to my Mom who got our family started making them. Grams, you can correct me if I got the story wrong. Grandma Carrie I hope that mine turned out somewhat good, though they are never as good as yours and Mom’s! Please keep all of us in prayer as we start classes tomorrow morning. I am praying for you all!!

The picture is of two of my favorite priests who inspired me. I keep their pictures next to my desk so that I remember to pray for them in their ministry and ask God to let me touch someone’s life like they have touched so many.

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Blogroll

Well here are a few posts on some blogs and websites that I follow that I found interesting. Maybe you will also.

White House petitioned to ‘label’ Catholic Church as a hate group

Feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton – on her relationship with Bishop Simon Bruté.

Fr. Tom Widner SJ on Seminarians being Liberal/Conservative, but really just being open to God and seeking Holiness.

Requiem Mass to be offered on Jan 25th for Nellie Gray at St. Mary Mother of God Church in Washington DC.

Bp. Paprocki on Illinois’ absurd “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act”

Because I am not a Protestant: On Liturgical Abuses

Ordain a Lady Music Video (Demonstrates exactly why it is forbidden.) (go ahead take your prozac and laugh, it’ll help!)

We Three Kings – Music video

Hopefully I can post some more of my favorite posts as time goes along.