Greetings in Christ! This is an exciting time for us in Holy Cross, as we welcome our newest members (the postulants and new Old Collegians) to formation. They are just beginning the process of formation, after discerning that God was calling them to take this next step. Last week we welcomed the “newly professed” to Moreau Seminary. These are the men who just professed First Vows in the Congregation of Holy Cross after a year of Novitiate in Cascade, Colorado. Two of the six professed vows in the Brothers’ society, and the other four in the Priests’ society. Having seminarians and scholastics together in formation and in the places where we minister has always been so very important for who we are and what we do as Holy Cross.
I was privileged to celebrate this wonderful occasion with the newly professed and their families, and I also was able to celebrate some of the Masses at our nearby parish (Sacred Heart Church in Colorado Springs). My first assignment was there at Sacred Heart as a deacon and parochial vicar. Even though I left 13 years ago, there were still many people who remembered me (and thanks be to God, most of them were happy to see me!). I traveled to Colorado with two other priests. As we usually do, we wore priestly garb (sometimes called “clerics”). It was interesting to see the reactions of the folks we encountered. Often the people smiled, or they gave us quizzical looks (thinking we can’t see them, apparently!). During our recent trip we were approached at least three separate times. The first was a woman who wanted a prayer and blessing for patience, because she was traveling with her elderly father, who was hard of hearing. The second was a couple who wanted us to pray for a man who was traveling to a rehabilitation center, for alcoholism treatment. The third was a man who was traveling to an Army base, and wanted a blessing before he arrived. I’m pretty sure they weren’t all Catholic Christians, but they needed to experience Christ in that moment.
What a blessing it was to be there, to be vehicles of God’s grace and love at a time when they needed it. To be a visible sign of the Sacrament of Holy Orders is an important, joyful, and humbling experience, even when folks are having difficulty with the priesthood or the Church. Actually, perhaps it’s even more important at those moments to be there, to give them a chance to talk about their difficulties or sadness, and to help them to remember the beauty and joy of our Church. Those encounters can hopefully help heal relationships with God and the Church, and they are certainly a reminder that I need to pray more!
Please keep in prayer the thirteen new novices starting in Cascade next week, as well as the eight postulants and two freshman Old Collegians who arrive this week. The Congregation of Holy Cross has about 60 men in formation who are all continuing their discernment of God’s call, and strengthening their desire to make Him known, loved, and served, and thus save souls. Let us know if we can be of help to you in your discernment! We are always glad to hear from you, and to help in whatever way we can. Many blessings to you in these summer days. Oremus pro invicem (let us pray for one another) as together we walk the path to our Heavenly Home, to be with Jesus, Mary and Joseph.