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Catholic Northwest Progress
Seattle, Washington
April 6, 1962     Catholic Northwest Progress
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April 6, 1962
 

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ICafholic Norfh Progress April 6, Where Men Become Priests.... St. Thomas the Apostle Seminary, Kenmore, Washington FORMATION OF THE now in its PRIEST IS completed at St. Thomas the Apostle Major Seminary fourth year. The Major Seminary is at Kenmore, also. BY REV. PETER F. CHIRICO, S.S. THE young man has about him an air of eager expectancy. I At the age of twenty--when most young men are already mid-way in their preparation for a career--he has embarked on what for him is a great adventure. Looking down the long row of black buttons that stud his cassock, a cassock that he is wearing for the first time, he realizes with happiness and yet with anxiety that he has begun to travel the road that he hopes will lead him to the priesthood. He has entered the major seminary. His past life has seen nothing extraordinary. He has come from a family where the will of God held a central place. In observing and in imitating his parents he was led to an appreciation of his religion at an early age. Altar boy, member of various parish societies, an assistant instructor in the CYO program in his parish--all these marked a growing development of the generosity fostered at home. Offers Himself To God Finally, the day had come when those generous desires, coupled with admiration for the work of a priest he had known for years, had led him to declare to his pastor his own desire to be a priest of God. Now he finds himself in the seminary, wondering what it will do to transform him from a layman into a priest according to the mind of Jesus Christ. The major seminary transforms men into priests of Christ. What does this mean concretely? What is a priest? What does transforma- tion into a priest mean? What does it cost? A priest is a man taken from his fellowmen to perpetuate the saving ministry begun by Jesus Christ on earth. As Christ taught, so the priest must teach. As Christ sacrificed Himself, so the priest must sacrifice himself in offering the sacri$ice of Christ. As Christ dedi- cated Hmself and all his actions to the glory of His Father, so the priest must be a man utterly dedicated to the things of God. In short, the priest must be another Christ. In his person he must re-present Christ on earth, just as the sacrifice of the Mass re-presents the sacri- fice of Calvary. Major Seminary Has Special Province The purpose of the major seminary is to promote, to channel, to make over the generous qualities of the young man nto the qualities of Jesus Christ. This means that the young man's mentality, *his way of looking at the world, must be transformed into the mentality of Christ. It means that his wilt, his inclinations to actions, must be transformed into a will that acts in accordance with the will of Christ. Finally, the whole being of the priestly candidate must be transformed in such a way that it has the power to perform the supreme ,priestly actions of Christ--administering the sacraments, celebrating Mass. First of all, the young man's mentality has to be maZe over into the mentality of Jesus Christ. He has to see things as Christ sees them. Tlt this may be accomplished he studies for years on end the great truths about the universe and God's plan for it as this has been re- vealed by Jesus Christ in His Church. But he does more than study. He meditates and prays over these truths so that they become the very mainsprings of 'his life. Thus, he is not satisfied to profess a cold intellectual belief in the all-seeing pres- ence of God. Kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel, walking along the corridors of his seminary home, he becomes more and more aware that God is really present to Him, that God knows and loves Him. Nor is he satisfied to hear Christ speak of the neces- sity of sacrifice for the saving of one's soul. He begins to realize more and more in prayer that he must sacrifice himself if he is to b'e a priest. Learns To Uve Life of Christ In a real sense, therefore, the seminary imprints on the young man's soul the guiding principles of the Hfe of Jesus Christ. He comes to see ever more closely that his life is but an extension of Christ's life, that his deals are but the re-presentation of the ideals so magni- ficently lived in Christ. Thus he ,begins to see obedience, not as a check SINCERE WISHES FOR A HAPPY EASTER from City Councilman CHARLES M. CARROLL and FAMILY MERIDIAN PAVERS STREETS---DRIVEWAYS PARKING AREAS Paving Contractors LA 3-8068 10301 AURORA SEATTLE SEASON'S GREETINGS FOX CLEANERS 3418 N.E. SSth Street WE OPERATE OUR OWN CLEANING PLANT AND SHIRT LAUNDRY FOR THE BEST SERVICE FOR YOUR COMMUNITY LA 5-7080 SERVING ASSUMPTION AND OUR LADY OF THE LAKE PARISHES