Preparing the best possible priests for the future is a year-round mission at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary. Our seminarians will scatter around the globe this summer, each pursuing experiences that will enhance his education and strengthen his spirituality.
Four of our seminarians plan to attend an eight-week program at the Institute for Priestly Formation (IPF), held on the campus of Creighton University. IPF is dedicated to helping seminarians fall deeply in love with God while immersing them in the unique spirituality of the diocesan priesthood. It will be a focused time for each man to intentionally develop his relationship with Christ. Edward Sanchez is eager to attend, explaining, “As seminarians, we spend a lot of time in prayer and study. I value this, but I also want to turn it into true, Christ-like leadership in a parish. IPF should be a great way to prepare for that mission.”
Patrick Magnor is looking forward to the Rome Experience, a six-week seminar designed to nurture his call to the priesthood and to holiness. Patrick will be joining seminarians from across the United States for classes in Rome on Church history, priestly identity, and the New Evangelization. Patrick’s excitement is evident when he says, “To live and study in the heart of the Church is going to be awesome!”
When Patrick finishes the Rome Experience, he will travel to Lourdes where he will meet up with Carlos Londono to volunteer at the famous Marian shrine. They will accompany pilgrims all day, including praying with them at the evening torchlight procession. The next morning, they do it all over again with a new group. This will be Carlos’ second time serving at the shrine, where he can help speakers of English, Spanish or Catalan. Both men cite a special devotion to Mary as the reason they want to give up a month of their summer to serve at Lourdes. Carlos said, “There is a powerful presence of Our Lady there. In such a secular country, it is Mary who gathers her children and keeps the faith alive.”
There are many more summer plans in the works. We will have seminarians in Spanish immersion programs, volunteering at Catholic Youth Expeditions in Door County, visiting La Sagrada Familia in the Dominican Republic, and hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Eight of our men will be doing Clinical Pastoral Education in medical facilities from Anchorage to Indianapolis. Eight others will be assigned to parishes for full-time diaconal ministry work, while 10 others will be doing parish internships.
These activities complement the formation our seminarians receive at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary. The men are eager to take on the extra challenges – even the ones they have to pay for themselves – so they can learn as much as possible and come to truly love the Lord. I am so proud of our men, and I hope you are too.
Thank you for your past support of our mission. It is because of you that we are able to offer an exemplary program with spiritually enriching opportunities. I hope you will continue to help us form holy priests. Your gift ensures that the men we ordain will be prepared to lead the Church forward. Please give generously!
Grace and peace,
Fr. John Hemsing