We bid a fond farewell to seminarian Abbé Ritchie on Sunday. He has left us to return to the seminary to continue his formation. We presented Abbé with a statue of St Winefride as a token of our gratitude for his help in the fledgling months of the apostolate in Shrewsbury. Abbé, be assured of our prayers!
Seminarians at class and during their studies
The obligatory formation for all our candidates to the holy priesthood is comprised of a one-year course of Spirituality, a two-year course of Philosophy, and a four-year course of Theology. This academic programme is taught by professors from Roman Universities, the Sorbonne, the IPC Philosophical Faculty in Paris, as well as by some of our own priests who have academic degrees. The oblates share in part of this formation over a five-year period with selected courses chosen for them by their superiors.
The intellectual formation of our seminarians is accompanied by a thoroughly human formation, which includes general culture, priestly manners, and an extensive amount of daily practical work in the house and around the outside grounds. This combination is very efficient for the complete education of mind and body which we want to give our seminarians.
At the same time, he also must learn to integrate his life into the discipline which serves as the foundation of true charity toward others. It is not always easy, and it will cost sacrifice and mortification of the will. However, in the end, through free obedience and hard work, it will give everyone joy and satisfaction.
Without any doubt, the most important element in seminary life is daily contact with Our Lord through Holy Mass, the Divine Office, the Rosary, and personal meditation. The seminarians come to know not only the history and the rubrics of the Sacred Liturgy, but also its inner meaning and great power for their spiritual lives. Every single gesture of the Classical Liturgy has a profound signification. Every detail matters when it comes to our relationship with the Lord.
Holy Liturgy and Unchangeable Catholic Truths
The personal faith of our seminarians has to be measured by the objective holiness of the liturgical mysteries and by the unchangeable truth of the Catholic Faith. Subjective piety and objective grace have to form a unity linked by the celebration of the Traditional Latin Liturgy. Neither exterior formalism nor pietism can survive when a seminarian, under the guidance of the authority of the Church which is represented by his superiors, strives in his liturgical participation and his interior life to “do what the Church does.”
This authentic Roman Catholic harmony between the subjective and the objective, between nature and grace, between the human and the Divine is a fruit of obedience towards the tradition that the Lord Himself has given and guarantees to Holy Mother Church.
How the Faithful Can Help
Our seminarians are very dedicated and generous young men. On the path to fulfilling their call to the Holy Priesthood, they are called to holiness and service to souls in a world that is in urgent need of returning to Our Lord. However, they do not always have the financial means necessary for the seven to nine years that it takes to complete the seminary programme and be ordained a priest. The expense of maintaining the seminarybuilding, as well as that of lodging, feeding, providing instruction, and supplying the necessary study material to approximately seventy young men, is very high. Our seminarians are asked to contribute a relatively small amount each month toward these costs, but many are not able to afford even this contribution. In these cases we do not turn away seminarians that are unable to support themselves. Through your generosity the seminary is able to accept those who are unable to contribute toward the expenses of their own formation.
Occasional donations to our seminary are gratefully accepted as they help to meet the increasing costs for ever greater numbers, but would you consider becoming a sponsor by committing to cover, at least partially, the monthly expenses of forming one seminarian? To do so please contact Canon Smith directly via email or by phone (0)7366 321039.
We can be certain of only a few facts about the life and martyrdom of Saint George and there is much disagreement about details. What we do know for sure is what matters most and makes him relevant still for us today: that he was martyred for his Christian faith during the persecutions of Diocletian, which began in the year 303. His cultus was established early on and spread rapidly. It is widely accepted that he was born of Christian parents around 280, probably in Cappadocia, and was, like his father, a soldier of high rank in the Roman army. Read more in our weekly newsletter here.
There will be a Novena for Mothers that will be offered for nine days, starting on Mothering Sunday 31st March.
To enrol, pick up a Novena card for your mother and hand the Offering envelope to the priest or place it in the collection basket at Mass. The Novena will be offered both for the living and for those who have gone before us.
For more informatio, please feel free to contact Canon Smith here.
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