This upcoming week I will have the honour and pleasure of visiting our three seminarians currently in formation for our diocese. Monday will take me to St. Peter’s Seminary in London to visit Yohander Sanchez who is in his first year of theology. On Tuesday I will be making my way to St. Philip Neri Seminary in Toronto in the late morning to visit Brian Izzard who is in his second year of philosophy. This is also where I completed my theology so it will be nice to return to see the Father’s who aided me in my formation. As you can imagine, I was a wild one in the seminary. In the early evening I will conclude my day to going to St. Augustine’s Seminary in Scarborough to visit Deacon Daniel Corso, now in his fourth and final year of theology.
My visits are for many reasons. To meet with them in person to check in to see how they are doing. To listen to them, as they share both the joys and the struggles of formation, as this is not an easy road, and their schedules and work loads are quite demanding. To see how they are doing spiritually, as they continue to discern God’s call. I will remind them of the balance of work, prayer, and rest. Most of all I want to assure them of the prayers of both myself but of the entire diocese and the Serra Club, and if it is God’s will, of those they will one day serve.
The journey to become a priest is long, as these gentlemen are in formation for seven to eight years, thus our prayers, encouragement, and support are essential. It requires perseverance on their part, but also being open to listening to the Holy Spirit. The end goal is spirit driven, to serve the people of God and for the salvation of souls.
We are nearly at the end of the Church’s Liturgical Year. Next Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King and the Sunday after that begins the new Church Year with the first Sunday of Advent, leading up to the Solemnity of Christmas on December 25. How is this possible? The same can be said for one’s time in the seminary. The time goes by so very quickly, and I will remind the gentlemen to enjoy and embrace the journey, for it truly is a blessed one at that.
Thank you for praying for our seminarians, and join me as we implore the Holy Spirit to stir in the hearts of more young men the courage to explore a vocation to the priesthood in our diocese. These men are in our homes, schools, and community. Tap them on the shoulders. Say “you have the qualities that would make a good priest,” and plant the seed.
May God bless each of you and those that you love.
From Our Pastor