My vocation story 1

Journal. Fr Arabadjis

Thu, Dec 15, 1:04 AM
here is my story : To whom it may concern,
My name is Fr. Stephen Arabadjis. I am a member of the Society of St. Pius X. But I am in my 8th year of Sabbatical. Therefore I was hoping your group could do a 54 day rosary novena for my intentions. But any prayers and sacrifices would be greatly appreciated. I know Our Lady will reward you generously for this.
Fri, Dec 16, 8:06 PM
Please don’t publish what I am going to tell you, because this sounds like a quasi interview, for which I need permission from the General Superior. But for the glory of Mary and your edification, I will tell you certain things about my vocation. And I will do it in tidbits, because I don’t want to spend a lot of time in one shot.
Firstly, I was called in the womb of my mother. She was having a difficult time when she was pregnant with me. So she consecrated me in the womb to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Our Lady, never forgot this. But even after I was born, I had to be hospitalized for 3 months, because I was born with bronchitis. And for my dad’s honor who is now deceased, he spent every night of the 3 months in the hospital, until I was released.
Sat, Dec 17, 8:06 PM
From 0-11, I was then nourished by Mother’s piety. She was a daily communicant, because she loved receiving Jesus in the Eucharist. I say “was”, because of her age and ailments, she is unable to go to Mass every day. She still goes frequently though.
She was a prayer machine. In NYC, we have a couple of parishes that do all night vigils in the beginning of the month, to honor First Fridays and First Saturdays. It starts off with First Friday Mass, on Friday evenings. And then prayers all night long. I remember especially, stations of the Cross, and rosaries. And it ended with First Saturday Mass, Saturday morning. She would go every month. She would take my brother, my sister, and myself, even while very young. We would take turns sleeping on her laps, while she prayed all night.
Sun, Dec 18, 8:12 PM
We lived in Brooklyn. And when I was about 11, our apartment building was destroyed by fire.
This forced us to move to three different shelters, before finding a permanent residence in Astoria, Queens.
Now this was truly Providential, as will show later on.

Mon, Dec 19, 7:57 PM

But from the ages of 12-16, my soul took a turn for the worst. To the grief of my mother, with my bad companions, we were into idleness and mischief.

Tues, Dec 20, 7.58 PM

But then Our Lady stepped in who loves me way more than my natural mother.
This is not a slight towards my earthly mother, but an encomium toward my heavenly mother. Indeed if you were to put all love of every mother that existed in one mother for one child, Our Lady’s love for each one of us would surpass it, to an infinite degree.

Wed, Dec 21, 8:17 PM

But as I said yesterday, at the age of 16, Our Lady remembered me. She gave me some powerful graces.
First, she made me feel the emptiness of idleness and mischief, hence I got bored of hanging out with my friends. So instead I would stay home and read Scripture. She gave me a great relish for Sacred Scripture.
Hence, I started going back to Church, even a daily communicant. And obviously I prayed the rosary every day, as well as doing the Stations of the Cross, every Friday.

Thurs, Dec 22, 8:07 PM

With this conversion came the calling to be a priest. Our Lady gave me a strong desire to celebrate Mass, hence become a priest.
This is my main motive for being a priest, and it is probably the best motive. Of course, we cannot neglect the care of souls. But as our founder Archbishop Lefebvre said, the Mass is either 85%, or 90%, of the priests’ work. Hence giving the primacy to prayer over activity.

Tues, Dec 27, 8:12 PM

Sorry, the last couple of days have been busy.
Remember I said that moving to Astoria, Queens was providential, now I will explain why. My godfather, whom I never met before, lived in the same area.
And one night he met my mom at a Eucharistic Congress. And he asked her permission to take me to the Latin Mass. My mom agreed, seeing no harm in that request. So from then on I would go to the Indult Mass on Sunday. It was like Our Lady said, you will celebrate Mass, but not that one, (New Mass), but this one, (Latin Mass).
I still however went to daily Mass at the New Mass, as there was no daily Indult Mass.
Wed, Dec 28, 8:11 PM

You see where this is going. I am saying Our Lady led me to Tradition in general and the SSPX in particular.
If you feel uncomfortable with this statement, and want me to stop the narrative, please let me know.

Thu, Dec 29, 11:30 PM

After several months of taking me to the Indult, one weekend he took me to the SSPX chapel in Long Island, because at that time there was no SSPX Mass Center in the city.
He entrusted his friend to start taking me to the chapel in Long Island every weekend. So from 16-18, I was basically under their tutelage.

Fri, Dec 30, 8:21 PM

During this time my godfather gave me old SSPX Angelus magazines, Remnants, Catholic Family News’, and Wanderers. I read these voraciously. And I came to the conclusion that I have to stop going to the New Mass. I will explain how I came to this conclusion and the ramifications it had in my life.

Sat, Dec 31, 18.43 PM

My decision was not based on aesthetics, as we have the nicest Churches, in the Dioceses of New York, and of Brooklyn. And NYC is fairly conservative, so we had reverent New Masses, obviously we have some bad exceptions.
No, after all my reading, my decision was based solely on doctrine. This is the firm foundation built on Our Lord. Those who are pro-Traditional because of aesthetics have a very difficult time dealing with the pressure coming from the diocese and Rome.

Sun, Jan 1, 11:12 PM

The 1st argument is the “Catholic Sense”. This is like common sense on the supernatural level. It is like the instinct which the pious faithful receive from the Holy Ghost, because of the connaturality, shared between the two based on the divine life of grace.
Many instinctively knew there was something wrong with the New Mass. Of course, they have to study then, to back up this instinct, in their own mind, and in those they are trying to convince.
As for myself, I didn’t have this instinct towards the New Mass. But I definitely experienced more reverence to God in the Latin Mass. I definitely knew it was a more fitting Mass.

Mon, Jan 2, 8:03 PM

The 2nd argument is from cause to effect. We can see something is wrong from the effects produced. What are the effects of the New Mass? When the Novus Ordo Missae was promulgated, about 10,000 priests left the priesthood. About 50% of Catholics don’t believe in the Real Presence. Well if that’s the case they must not believe the Mass is the Sacrifice of Our Lord reenacted, for which the Real Presence is necessary.
So now, it behooves us to look at the cause, in order to single out the problem.

Tues, Jan 3, 7.57 PM

The 1st Prelude to the 3rd argument. The definition of sacrifice is to offer something up and destroy it in some way, to show God’s complete dominion over us, and our total dependence on HIm. We show this complete dominion and total dependence, by partaking of the victim. By partaking of the victim, we show our inner dispositions are the same as the fate of the victim, Immolation.
Therefore, there are 3 parts to every sacrifice; 1)the Offering, 2)the Sacrifice, and 3)the Communion.

Wed, Jan 4, 8:00 PM

The 2nd Prelude to the 3rd argument. We say that the New Mass waters down the faith that the Mass is a real sacrifice for sin. But we also sometimes use the expression waters down the “spirit of faith”. I think we use this expression sometimes not to be accused of saying the Mass is heretical.
But what is the spirit of faith, but to live according to the faith. Now let’s take an example of the New Mass, watering down the spirit of faith. One says he believes in the real presence, and yet receives Our Lord in his hands. That action does not follow what he professes.
And this ultimately will lead to the loss of faith, because men preferred the darkness, because their works were evil. One can’t live with the continual rebuke of conscience, so he changes the way he thinks. So I will use these 2 terms interchangeably.

Thurs, Jan 5, 8:00 PM

Now we can dissect the problem of the New Mass. The 3rd argument: the main problem with the New Mass is the 1st essential part, the Offertory. The Offertory sets the tone of the Sacrifice.
In the Latin Mass it is clear we are offering up Our Lord, the Church already seeing Our Lord in the bread and wine, “Offer up this Immaculate host…for sins, etc.” Then we destroy the Victim mystically by the separate consecrations.
In the New Mass this is watered down, so it seems we only offer up bread and wine. So many have lost the faith that the Mass is a true, real Sacrifice for sins. And rather come up with the Protestant notion, that it is just a commemoration of what Our Lord did at the Last Supper, a commemorative meal.

Fri, Jan 6, 8:21 PM

We have now to come to the pastoral position of the SSPX towards the New Mass.
We highly recommend our faithful not to attend the New Mass, because of the danger to the faith.
Now we have some faithful who can only go to Mass once or twice a month, due to shortage of priests. So some would argue we recommend breaking the precept of the Church to go to Mass on Sunday. No rather we keep the commandment, “Keep holy the Sabbath”. Now the precepts of the Church are meant to help us keep the Commandments, not impede them. The danger to the faith does not help us “Keep holy the Sabbath.” So we tell such faithful to “Keep holy the Sabbath”, by extra prayers, pious reading, and etc.

Sat, Jan 7, 8:26 PM

If one of our parishioners goes to a New Mass because of a funeral or wedding, we tell them to passively participate without receiving communion.
Now it does happen that some don’t have reasonable access to a Latin Mass. For the sake of receiving the Sacraments, we would say it’s OK to go, but they must not follow the Mass but passively participate, saying other prayers, rosaries, following the 1962 Missal, and etc. Then they can go to Communion.
I deal with the prison correspondence, and this is the advice I give them. For it is more like preparing to receive Communion, then attending the New Mass.
However, even in this case, if the New Mass is very irreverent, we would tell them not to go. Here they will become acquainted with the power of Spiritual Communion.

Sun, Jan 8, 7:31 PM

What do we have to say about the faithful who go to the New Mass? Do we judge them? God forbid! Some of their faithful appear to be more pious than some of our faithful.
But I will add this, that if they start experiencing a watering down of their faith or their spirit of faith, and they see this has a connection with the New Mass, then they have to do some investigation. And Our Lady is always ready to help with signal graces those who seek the truth.

Mon, Jan 9, 7:50 PM

Now to the ramifications of my decision to stop going to the New Mass. First, we must mention the persecution from my mother. You must understand two things about my mother. First, she is a Jewish convert, who converted after Vatican II, so this is all she knew. She received special graces. She believed in Jesus as early as 12. And finally did her conversion classes at 19, hence her piety. And this was eight years before her marriage. So she did not convert to get married, but rather was more pious than my dad. Second, she is a woman of simple faith. Hence she would argue with me, “but that’s Jesus”. I couldn’t convince her that the problem of the New Mass lies deeper than the Real Presence.

Tues, Jan 10, 7:56 PM

My mom was a Church hopper, she would go where the devotions were. So she asked a lot of priests about my situation, and I am sure most of them said the SSPX is schismatic, excommunicated, and outside the Church. To a woman of simple faith, there is no excuse for not being in union with Rome. So now she would say my arguments were false, because I was listening to “crazy priests.”
She did this in all charity, though, “trying to get me back in the Church”, fulfilling Our Lord’s word, “They will persecute you, thinking they do a service to God.” On my part, sometimes I would start an argument, either to get her worked up, or to try to convince her. But I stopped, because one was mean and the other futile. I wish I heard the words of my former seminary rector at that time. He said, “Never argue with women, just give them a hug, that’s all they wanted in the first place.” If I would have known and heed this advice then, I would certainly have had less headaches.

Wed, Jan 11, 8:09 PM

But inspired by the sensus fidei, by the good example of my mother, and the good example of our founder Archbishop Lefebvre, who was a daily communicator since he was 5 years old, I knew I had to find a way to receive every day. So I looked to the East. There was a Byzantine Ukrainian rite in the neighborhood. It was thirty blocks further than my parish church. And it was hard to follow the Mass, since it was in Ukrainian, so I just followed the Roman hand missal for the feast of the day. But I counted these little hardships as nothing, so I could satiate my soul, with the Eucharist. I would go to Mass, then take 2 trains and a bus to school.

Thurs, Jan 12, 7:52 PM

The parish priest of the Ukrainian rite, welcomed me with open arms. You see he was used to receiving New Mass refugees. And he even became my spiritual director until I entered the seminary. This would prove necessary, as I will show later.

Fri, Jan 13, 8:04 PM

About this time, I didn’t want to go back to school. After enjoying this fare, (those good magazines and papers, I mentioned before), I didn’t want to go back to eating that crap from the public school. My plan at 6 was to get a job and wait till I was 18 to enter the seminary. My mother, obviously concerned, asked my godfather to talk to me. He agreed there was a lot of crap being taught, but he did make a good argument for going back to school. He said that the natural system still set up in schools trains our minds how to think logically. I was convinced, so I went back to school for my last 2 years. In any event it was providential because, the SSP

Sat, Jan 14, 8:01 PM

So I became a loner, because I had nothing in common with my classmates. I wanted to be a priest, (spiritual things), they wanted sinful pleasures, (earthly things). Besides that I would often get into arguments with my teachers over the crap they were speaking. Because of this, this lonely warrior would often be worn down, mentally, physically, and spiritually. But I was not alone, there was my Mother Mary, who would give me the sweetest consolations, to help keep me going. X requires a high school diploma for entrance into their seminaries.

Sun, Jan 15, 7:45 PM

We must come back to the Long Island transfer. This is how it worked, since my godfather’s friend didn’t have a car, we had to take public transportation.
We would leave Sat. afternoon and attend Mass. He would go back home and come back Sunday morning. I would spend the night in Long Island so as to avoid having to wake up super early. He was generous, he paid for this out of his own pocket. And this was the LIRR, so it was like $10 per ticket one way.

Mon, Jan 16, 7:54 PM

So the Pastor in Long Island took a liking to me, since he knew I wanted to be a priest. So often he, my godfather’s friend, (I will just refer to him as my friend from here on out), and myself, would go and eat out Saturday night. The first time I asked him about a difficult passage in Scripture. He marvelled and said, “of course you have a vocation”, and then turned to my friend, “did you hear what he just asked me?”. After the meal we went back to the rectory and looked at a commentary to solve the difficulty.

Tue, Jan 17, 8:08 PM

My friend was very generous but of meagre means. Hence he could no longer afford to go to Long Island on both days, Sat. and Sun.
He told me about this situation, and that we could only go on Sundays from hence forward.
This proved to be a trial for me. Because it meant I had to wake up at 4:30am, which was especially difficult since my brother stayed up late on the weekends. Sometimes I would get 3 or 4 hours of sleep.
And my friend also told me that if I wasn’t at the LIRR when our train arrived, he would leave without me.

Wed, Jan 18, 8:17 PM

So this went on for several months. But I am not sure of the occasion, either it was the third time I missed the train, or it was twice in a row, I got fed up. So I went to the Indult Church that Sunday very early obviously. And I prayed through 3 New Masses and then attended the Latin Mass.
It was then that I made the decision to go back to the Indult out of prudence, considering the difficulty it was for me to go to Long Island. I was still doctrinally 100% SSPX. And there was no danger to the faith. I don’t remember any anti-SSPX or pro-Vatican II sermons. I didn’t fault him for this, he has to go to Mass.

Thu, Jan 19, 7:55 PM

I still had contact with my friend. There were about 5 of us who would go over his house, about once a month, to talk about subjects which pertain to Christ the King. This was like our safe haven from the madness of the world, and Church.

Fri, Jan 20, 8:27 PM

I finally graduated high school, at the age of 17. Because my junior high school had a program whereby you can go from 7th to 9th grade.
But you can’t enter the seminary until 18. So my plan was to spend a year at one of our priories. But the pastor of Long Island advised against it, saying I should stay in the world for one more year, and to get a job.
I followed my plan though, and went to one of our priories, with the intention to spend a whole year. While I was there a 30 day retreat was going on for the seminarians. I spoke to one of the retreat masters about this. He advised that I go to college for a year, then visit the seminary and talk to the rector. So I only lasted a month. I went back home and registered for college. And I got a part time job at a Catholic book store.

Sat, Jan 21, 7:56 PM

I went to college blazing like St. Paul. I was ready to take on any one who challenged the Catholic Church. I got into arguments with teachers during class. I have a lot of funny and good stories, but this narrative is already long.
As in high school, being a loner, even though more effective, I got drained from arguing every day. So as to preserve my spiritual energy, I decided not to argue, unless necessary. I figured everybody already knows where I stand, no need to argue about it every day.
I couldn’t wait to visit the seminary.

Sun, Jan 22, 7:17 PM

So I visited the seminary on the occasion of ordinations. I was so impressed with the ceremony. The MC makes a motion and all move in unison. It was disciplined and hence very respectful to God. This was a man’s religion, unlike the New Mass where the priest does whatever he feels like.

Mon, Jan 23, 8:11 PM

I spent an extra week at the seminary so as to visit and talk to the rector. The rector told me to do six more months of college, “So as to experience the nasty but real world”, then six more months in one of our priories, and then I could enter the seminary.
I didn’t like this, since I already experienced “the nasty but real world”, so I convinced the rector to let me enter that fall. But I didn’t feel comfortable about my decision.
So I went to my Ukrainian spiritual director, and he told me I should probably follow the rector’s initial decision, since he has the grace of state and experience. So this was my resolve to wait another year.

Tue, Jan 24, 7:55 PM

For the semester, I chose classes in which I would not encounter drama: Math, Minor and Major Economics, and Computer programming. And I arranged it so that even with a full time schedule, I only had to go to college twice a week, but I was there in the morning till evening. Then I worked 2 days a week at the bookstore. So I had two days a week to myself. This helped me to learn how to plan my day.

Wed, Jan 25, 8:18 PM

Just a couple of points before I take the narrative to the priory. At the age of 18, my godfather introduced me to True Devotion to Mary.

Thurs, Jan 26, 8:20 PM

I think I might spend some extra time developing this devotion, because as St. John Damascene, who excused himself for talking about Mary a lot, said, “You will of course excuse me, since it is the property of lovers to talk about those they love.”

Fri, Jan 27, 8:04 PM

He suggested I read it through first, before doing the preparation for the consecration. I finished about the same time the parish that had the Indult Mass was doing the preparation and consecration as a parish. We did our consecration before the Blessed Sacrament exposed on Sept. 8. I did this at the age of 18.
I was ecstatic to do this for many reasons. First I might mention, in gratitude for saving me from perishing, when I was 16. It was only just that I give myself to her completely, for all the graces she gave me.

Sat, Jan 28, 8:08 PM

Secondly, to complete the work started by my mother who consecrated me in the womb to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
St. Louis mentions that at baptism we become slaves of Christ. And he goes on to say that True Devotion is like a second baptism, but in certain ways even better. First, we consecrate ourselves by ourselves instead of by proxy. Secondly, we consecrate ourselves to Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
I personally completed these consecrations.

Tue, Jan 31, 7:53 PM

Thirdly, she will protect and not lose what is given to her. Like the lady in the parable who turned the house upside down, to find the lost groat.
Woe, therefore, to those who infringe upon her rights. She will not take this lightly.

Wed, Feb 1, 8:14 PM

Fourthly, all our good works are presented to God through the Immaculate hands of Mary.

Sat, Feb 4, 7:48 PM

Why is it necessary that our good works go to God through the Immaculate hands of Mary?
Well there are two extremes which exclude this necessity. First is a modern error that man is naturally good. But also the ancient heresy of Pelagianism - man can obtain salvation by himself. So according to this error we don’t need Mary because we are all immaculate, even the “anonymous Christians”.

Sun, Feb 5, 7:42 PM

Then there is the other extreme of Martin Luther. He said that from original sin, human nature is so vitiated, that even our best works are sins.
How can we be saved then? By God imputing the justice of Our Lord, especially at the Passion, on a pile of crap. It’s like snow covered manure. By the way this is a contradiction, if human nature is so vitiated, there is no way the Immaculate Conception could take place, let alone the Incarnation.

Mon, Feb 6, 8:06 PM

But what is the Catholic doctrine? Good works are good works and not sins. But the residual effects of original and our own personal sins have the effect that even in our best works there is an admixture of self-love. They are not sins, but they are not completely pure.
And God deserves immaculate gifts, hence the necessity of going through Mary. There have been saints who have tried otherwise, but their path was much more difficult. Our Lady is the quickest, shortest, and easiest way to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Tue, Feb 7, 8:08 PM

We must now come to the heresy, which was like the Lutherian form of Catholicism - Jansenism. Why? To show Our Lady is the destroyer of all heresies, for with one doctrine, (Immaculate Conception), we will show the destruction of 3 heresies, hence the crushing of the serpent’s head.
Jansenism didn’t go as far as Luther, that human nature is completely vitiated, but it comes close. They would say in order to perform a good work pleasing to God, one must perform the most rigorous penances and the most concentrated prayer. Hence, we read during this period that canonized saints only be allowed to receive Holy Communion, 2 or 3 times a week.
St. Louis de Montfort, who fought the Jansenist, would say, yes there is some impurity even in our best works, but you don’t need to spiritually strain yourself to please God, just go through Mary.

Thu, Feb 9, 7:41 PM

But to finish with the fifth reason, I was ecstatic on doing the consecration, I have to lay out the values of a good work.
A good work has a three-fold value:

  1. meritorious value, whereby we merit more graces and a higher place in heaven.
  2. prayer value; and
  3. satisfaction value, whereby the punishment due to sin is wiped away.

Sat, Feb 11, 8:20 PM

Now when we give the goods of our soul to Our Lady, she uses them for the greater glory of God. Now the meritorious value of our good works cannot be communicated to another. Hence the parable of the 10 virgins. The five wise ones can’t give their merits to the foolish ones. So for us she augments them so they are more pleasing in the eyes of God.

Sun, Feb 12, 7:44 PM

But with the prayer and satisfactory value of our good works, she can give graces to other souls. And this is truly magnificent, because she knows best where the glory of God is. We can be praying for a friend, but she knows for example that a soul in Uganda is more in need. This thought is extremely helpful especially when suffering. We can say Our Lady needs more graces to distribute.
Obviously, she will not forget our family and friends, because she is not outdone in generosity.
I will return to the narrative, but I will return to True Devotion.

Mon, Feb 13,

Two more points before I bring the narrative to the priory. First is the Ignatian Retreats. I made one when I was 16. Humanly speaking it was not prudent. It is too intense for a 16 year old. But at least I was able to get a general confession in.
Then I made a more serious one at 18. And my main goal was to see if I had a vocation. St. Ignatius lists three methods of discernment of vocation. The first was a miracle like that of St. Paul. This was not my experience. The last was to use your reason by listing pros and cons. This was not necessary for me. The second one was the discernment of spirits. Realizing all the graces I received, the strong desires I had to be a priest, and the encouragement I received, it was clear to me I had a vocation. So the resolution of this retreat was to enter the seminary, and not leave unless they tell me to.

Tue, Feb 14, 8:02 PM

The devil has made many attempts before and after to obstruct my vocation. The last thing I want to mention before entering the priory was his attempt to use scruples about entering the SSPX.
Knowing one of the devil’s tactics like a false lover, he wants you to remain silent. Knowing this, I had recourse to my Ukrainian director.
He said, “No, I think God is calling you to the SSPX”. This was a great consolation and confirmation for me for 2 reasons. 1) This priest was a part of the mainstream church. 2) He didn’t always agree with everything the Society stood for. I remember arguing with him one time about the encyclical letter Ut Unum Sint.

Wed, Feb 15, 8:27 PM

This is our usual custom of having aspirants to the priesthood spend time in a priory before entering the seminary. For two reasons, 1) to weed out those who are not that serious, and 2) to get us used to the seminary schedule. Our priory schedules are based on the seminary schedule. For obvious reasons, it is a little looser.

Thu, Feb 16, 7:50 PM

My pre-seminary was a good experience. There were three of us who entered in Feb. The priests were very dedicated to prepare us spiritually, and intellectually for the seminary. We actually had a schedule of classes in the morning. We studied English Grammar, (which I don’t think exists anymore in public schools), Latin, and Religion.
We worked in the afternoon, under the supervision of a brother. He was very penitential, and he expected you to be as well. He wasn’t mean, he would make suggestions, and encouragements. This was a good experience to toughen us up for the seminary.

Fri, Feb 17, 8:23 PM

I can’t remember anything memorable about the priory life. So I will just fast forward to our trip to the seminary for ordinations. 2 out of 3 of us filled out papers to enter the seminary in the coming Fall.

Sat, Feb 18, 8:08

Canon Law requires at least 2 years of Philosophy. The reason for this is that Theology is right reason applied to revelation. Hence she also requires 4 years of Theology.
Traditionally and still today aspirants of the priesthood take 4 years of Philosophy and 4 years of Theology.

Sun, Feb 19, 8:22 PM

Our seminary program is a little different. We have a seven year program, with 2 not 4 years of philosophy. And we have only 3 years of theology. This may seem deficient according to canon law. But the truth is we really study 7 years of theology, because in the other 4 years there are theological classes.

Mon, Feb 20, 8:27 PM

A lot of liberals and conservatives mock the Archbishop as a dinosaur. This is so far from the truth. It’s true In the faith he remained unmoved, but where there was legitimate organic development, he was not opposed.
In fact he was a pioneer. He came up with the idea of the 1st year of seminary being the year of Spirituality. So that modem youth who are so indecisive could look at the solidity of their vocation. Now the tonsure was received on Feb.2 of the year of Spirituality. Now the tonsure is a big step, there is moral certitude that you will become a priest. But still a lot of seminarians were leaving after receiving the tonsure. So he separated the ceremonies of the reception of the cassock and the tonsure, to give seminarians a 1 and half to see the solidity of their vocation. Cassock would be received on Feb. 2 of the Spirituality year, but the tonsure on Feb. 2 of 1st Philosophy.

Tue, Feb 21, 8:10

My first rector of our seminary in the USA was also a pioneer. After 20 years as a rector, he realized that aspirants to the priesthood were deficient in the very basics of education, hence it was hard to build on that foundation. So he started the year of Humanities, to give us a classical education. It was called the 0 year in jest. And I think our other seminaries have adopted this year as well.

Wed, Feb 22, 8:20 PM

They put me in the humanities year. At the time I had mixed emotions. On the one hand I was angry, because I already did a pre-seminary, and I aced those subjects of Latin, English Grammar, and Religion. But on the other hand I did enjoy Literature, and World History. I knew world history from the public schools, but this was from a Catholic perspective. I think the main point the professor was trying to stress is that God wanted to build His Church on the Greco-Roman world. Because this was the highest wounded human nature could reach - Greece with its philosophy, and Rome with its law.
In hindsight, I am glad I did the Humanities year, because it gave me an extra year to mature.

Fri, Feb 24, 8:02 PM

I loved the seminary, I finally was no longer a loner. But was surrounded by likeminded individuals.

Sat, Feb 25, 7:50 PM

I was however shocked to see so many seminarians leave my 1st year there. I think some seminarians had the mind set that they would try it out. But the seminary is not a craft, a college or a baseball team. I think you should be convinced of your vocation before entering. Obviously some will still leave because things come up, but it’s not tryouts.

Sun, Feb 26, 8:00 PM

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