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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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put upon his enthusiasm by authority, but as a following of the obedi- ence of Christ ;ho "was obedient to death, even to the death on a cross." He learns to see in the privations of the seminary life an opportunity to practice in the twentieth century that detachment from material things that enabled Christ to devote Himself completely to the work of saving souls. Becomes "Father" of All He learns, too---and this is a point we might consider more at length--of the surpassing value of priestly chastity. He discovers that he is renouncing the opportunity of loving deeply one woman and of becoming the father of several children for the joy of loving all men in and through Christ and of becoming "Father" to all the children f God. The seminary helps him to see the great good there is in giv- ing birth to physical life; and so he reverences the married state. But he learns that there ,is an even greater good than the giving of physical life; it is 1:he giving of spiritual life. And because he wishes to be a giver of spiritual life, ever at the disposal of Christ who is the model of priestly chastity, he willingly gives up one of the greatest of human joys and consolations. It is obvious that the putting into practice of the ideals taught by the seminary demands an heroic dedication. The seminary asks for --and this is a must--a life of sacrifice. Given the initial generosity of the candidate, the seminary tries to build a will that is at once disciplined and supple. A vague generosity is not enough. Is Ready To Do Difficult Things By the t,ime he is ordained the young man must be ready to do difficult things--and not just the difficult things that please his own nature, but also the difficult things that please those in authority over him. To promote this necessary spirit of disciplined sacrifice the semi- nary is run according to a fairly strict schedule. There are periods of study, and at times these fall when the seminarian may not feel like studying. There are periods of recreation when the seminarian is obliged to mix freely with his fellow seminarians; and these periods may occur when the seminarian feels like being alone. And there are, above all, periods of prayer--especially in the early hours of morning--which 6, 1962 Cafholicorthwesf Progress--I! impress upon the seminarian the need to pray at all costs. For prayer is as necessary to spiritual living as food is for material life. Beyond the training of the mind and will, the seminary must, in the person of the Bishop who is its first superior, transform the young man into someone who has the power to perform the priestly actions of Jesus Christ. This is done by a series of ordinations that one by one through the long years of formation make him into someone that Christ can use to continue His saving work. The young man is given the power to cast out devils, to pray officially in the name of the Church, to preach and to distribute Holy Communion in the various ordinations that precede the last and final ordination .in the cathedral--the ordi- nation to the priesthood. Such is the work of the seminary--a work of transforming a young man's mind by study, reflection and prayer, of transforming his will by a sch, ooling of sacrifice; of transforming his very being by a series of ordinations that give to Him the powers of Christ. But when we have said this we have not said it all. The seminary is organized. It is in the hands of men. But its most powerful force for the transformation of a man into a priest can not be measured in terms of human efficiency. For, above all, the seminary is a place where the grae of God is at work upon souls. To those who give them- selves up completely to that ever-powerful grace, a saintly and fruitful priesthood is assured. Must Desire To Give All This .brings us to the one incalculable factor in the seminary-- the good will and generosity of each candidate. Upon this factor de- pends to a large extent the success of the seminary. To become a good priest one must have the desire to give much of oneself. To become a great priest one must desire to give all. So it is that the seminary presents the young man with a great challenge. It is an old challenge, one that goes 'back to a scene of the Sea of Galilee when Christ Himself invited some simple fishermen to follow Him in the catching of men. But the old challenge still demands the limit of generosity. And men still answer as the apostles answered two thousand years ago. "And when they had brought their boats to land, they left all and followed Hm." (Luke 5:11.) THE MOST Reverend Archbishop Connolly is seen e the first or- dination ceremonies in St. Thomas' beauti- ful Seminary chapel. 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