As a faith community, we strive to assist seminarians in the Archdiocese of Atlanta as they discern a vocation to the priesthood. We also assist Fr. Tri as he provides guidance to our seminarians in his role as Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. This summer we welcome seminarian Jacob Butz to our faith community. He will be assigned to the parish for the months of June and July and will assist at our liturgies, and will also participate primarily in our Youth Ministry, Confirmation, and Adult Education programs. As we know, we are living in difficult and uncertain times due primarily to the impact of the coronavirus. This situation has required us to make greater use of on-line technology in our approach to many of our ministries and programs. Therefore, much of what Jacob will do will involve the use of this technology.
Pope Francis has a special place in his heart for seminarians. In an address to seminarians, as reported in the publication “Vatican News”, he described the seminary as a place of growth. He identified three areas of focus. First, he said that seminarians must devote adequate commitment to spiritual formation, to be with the Lord, “to learn to listen to Him and contemplate His face.” The second area is that of study, of sharing lessons of study with other seminarians, so that study is personal but not individual. The third area is to accept the challenge to embrace a house of communion which takes the form of “presbyterial communion around the guidance of the bishop.”
The following prayer asks the Lord to guide our seminarians:
Oh God, hear our prayer for the men you have chosen to follow in Your Son’s footsteps.
Teach them humility and fidelity to unselfishly help others.
May their devotion to our Blessed Mother, Queen of Vocations, increase, enabling them to do Your will.
Strengthen their prayer life that they may grow spiritually without worldly distractions.
Give them courage and perseverance in their studies.
May the Holy Spirit lighten their struggles with their vocations, until they know the joy of being a priest.
We ask this through Christ Your Son. Amen.
As we reflect on this prayer, and on the words of Our Holy Father, I invite you to pray for Jacob and all seminarians, and also to pray to the Lord for an abundance of happy, healthy, and holy priests to guide and shepherd the Church of tomorrow.