Colin's entry below reminded me that Sacramento is blessed with many young vocations. Things are different now, but it wasn't that long ago that I would have been considered a "late vocation." In today's Church I'm still a child - I turn 30 this December.
This year marks a major transition for me: the faculty has judged me ready to leave philosophy and enter First Theology in the fall. I can finally put down Heidegger's Being and Time! No offense Father Rojas ;) The diocesan priest is necessarily a social creature, and I'm getting a small taste of that now. The student council end-of-the-year dinner was on Thursday; yesterday I went to lunch with my support group to Amato's in Mountain View (best cheese steaks in the West), and after that the Pre-Theology end-of-semester dinner with pizza and beer. Some faculty members like to unofficially "adopt" a class every year. Fr. John Kselman, one of our resident scripture scholars, took us out to Applewood Pizza in Menlo Park last semester. This time we treated him. I was the Pre-Theology class representative on the student council this year, and I'm already urging the Pre-Theo I guys to consider running in the fall. That way I can extend my reach and influence throughout the future ranks of the priesthood! Just kidding :)
Last Saturday was the Sacramento Diocese's 57th annual Youth Convention. This year it was held at Divine Savior parish in Orangevale. The keynote speaker this year was Mike Patin. This was the first time I had ever heard him talk, and I thought he did a great job! He has that rare talent for speaking to teenagers without talking down to them, and at the same time delivering solid orthodoxy in his talks. The Sacramento seminarians took turns minding the vocations cafe. Right next to us were the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. Our diocese is very blessed to have them. I love any religious order that still wears the habit.
Only two weeks of the semester left - one week of classes, and then finals. If you enter the seminary, depending on your educational background you're looking at anywhere from five to nine years. That sounds like a long time when you're just starting out, but trust me, it goes by fast. I've been at it for two years now and I still feel like the new guy.