This morning was the official inauguration of Fr. James McKearney of the Society of St. Sulpice as the new rector of St. Patrick's Seminary and University. The Archbishop of San Francisco George Niederauer presided at the installation and Mass; also present were Fr. Tom Ulshafer, the provincial superior of the Society in the United States, the entire faculty of St. Patrick's who took the oath of fidelity to the Holy Father and the Magisterium along with Fr. McKearney, and Father's parents who brought up the gifts for Mass. We certainly pray to the Blessed Virgin, whose birth we celebrate today, that Fr. McKearney and the faculty may impart to us true wisdom and knowledge of the Faith for the greater glory of God!
This is now my second year at St. Patrick's. I am currently in Pre-Theology II, and it feels like there is more reading to do this semester than the last two combined. I'm taking seminars on Dostoyevsky (one of my favorite authors) and Immanuel Kant, which means I'll be plowing through The Idiot, The Brothers Karamazov, and The Critique of Pure Reason. In addition, the longer you are in seminary, the more responsibilities around the house you will take on. I will be a sacristy team leader this semester; Fr. Rubio, our resident liturgist, had all team leaders prepare for the installation. There are four teams altogether, which means mine will be in charge of preparing for daily Mass for one week once a month. I'll also be running for Pre-Theology class representative on the student council. I find I really enjoy teaching the new guys the nuts and bolts of seminary life. It's rather similar to what I do here on the blog actually :)
The Church suppressed the minor orders, but there is still a hierarchy of responsibilities for seminarians. If you start out in Pre-Theology, you'll work as a sacristan until First Theology when you become a lector. After that is acolyte, then the transitional deaconate, and then the big day - priesthood. I only have six years to go now!