BARBARA — DAY 17: Service, Seminarians, and the Bellagio Fountains

40 notes to 40 people in 40 days

bellagio fountainsI’ve know a lot of people who have gone to seminary. Some become ordained ministers or go on to get Ph.D.s and teach. Others are lay leaders in their denominations or counselors or writers or even artists.

Since working at Busted Halo, I’ve met another category to add to the list above — Catholic priests! And in addition to meeting priests (usually Paulist priests), I’ve also had the opportunity to meet and get to know several Paulist seminarians. They come from different places in the United States and Canada, have different professional backgrounds and interests, and many are drawn to the type of contemporary media outreach and evangelism that the Paulist Fathers are known for.

These seminarians have heard and answered a distinct call from God in their lives — and are giving their lives to God’s service in the Church. That kind of gift and all it entails is remarkable to me. Years of study and training and taking vows to serve the Church, the Paulists, to be obedient, and to practice celibacy, etc. — all VERY BIG STUFF.

I know God calls each one of us to some kind of service or vocation. Maybe it’s the BIG STUFF of being a priest or nun or ordained minister, or the BIG STUFF of being a teacher, parent, volunteer at a food pantry, or lector on Sunday morning.

For everyone who has heard and answered that call — THANK YOU. And especially “thank you” to Fr. James DiLuzio, CSP, and Ryan Casey, Paulist seminarian, who I got to know a little better during my time at a Paulist gathering last week in Las Vegas. (And who will receive today’s and tomorrow’s notes.) We visited the Las Vegas Strip with a group of colleagues and took in a few performances of the Bellagio Fountains.

For anyone reading this and wondering about this whole “call” and “vocation” thing — take a look at the video below. Or this video or this video.

P.S. Below is a list of the Paulist seminarians and novices (and a deacon for good measure) who are currently preparing to become Paulist priests. Remember when Pope Francis stepped out on the balcony in St. Peter’s and asked us to pray for him? Well, I think in addition to praying for “him” there was a message in there (from Pope Francis? from God?) to remember to pray for all of our church leaders — and the leaders in training. Go to it.

Paulist seminarians
Matthew Berrios
Ryan Casey
Michael Hennessy
Steven Petroff
Stuart Wilson-Smith

Paulist novices
Daniel Arthur
Michael Cruickshank
Evan Cummings
Paolo Puccini

Paulist deacon (to be ordained a priest in May)
Jimmy Hsu