This summer, the Office of Vocations hosted its eighth annual Summer Seminary Immersion Program (SSIP). The program received over 20 applications from talented and faithful Catholic high school young men from across the country — thanks be to God! This year’s class of scholars joined us at Moreau Seminary for two weeks of academics, prayer, service, fellowship, and community life.
Run by the Office of Vocations with support from Notre Dame’s Office of Pre-College Programs, each year SSIP participants learn about consecrated life and their own discernment. The course work focuses on the theology of the priesthood and the consecrated life through historical, sacramental, scriptural, and ministerial lenses. In addition, our summer scholars receive a credit from the University of Notre Dame upon successful completion of the two-week course.
The program helps young men in high school deepen their own consideration of God’s call through study of Sacred Scripture and the Catholic Tradition, as well as the experience of what it would be like to enter a college seminary program. The daily schedule includes Adoration, Mass, praying together the Divine Office, recreation, and experiences of common life and fraternity.
Taught again this year by Fr. Matthew Hovde, C.S.C, the course included lectures, breakout discussions, and other activities. In the afternoons, different aspects of priestly ministry and of religious life were presented: studying historical examples, learning about the saints, and hearing from Holy Cross religious currently engaged in ministry.
The two weeks were also filled with rich encounters of communal life, meaningful service work, lots of fun, great food, and fellowship amongst the group. The young men encountered a diverse group of Holy Cross religious engaged in various kinds of ministry. Interspersed were opportunities to explore and learn more about the campus programs of the University of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College, experience life in South Bend, and enjoy a variety of sports and group activities.
We are thankful for the many Holy Cross Priests, Brothers, and Collegians who again made this time possible and shared deeply of themselves to guide and support SSIP’s participants. Each encounter with Holy Cross religious was marked by keen insight and faithful witness to their life in Holy Cross, as well as to the personal vibrancy they each experience as vowed Catholic men.
This year’s leadership team included Fr. Brendan McAleer, C.S.C. (SSIP Program Director and Associate Director of Vocations), Fr. Matthew Hovde, C.S.C. (course instructor), Josh Amodeo (collegian), Kevin O’Leary, and Thomas Searl (postulants). Their combined energy helped sustain each of our scholars (and each other!) through the two weeks of study, prayer, and fun.
The Office of Vocations is especially grateful to Rev. John Herman, C.S.C., and Rev. James Gallagher, C.S.C. — former and current Superior of Moreau Seminary, respectively — as well as the entire Moreau Seminary community for their gracious welcome and hospitality this summer. There are many other Holy Cross religious to thank, and the entire team was blessed to have so many share their time with us.