writing about my seminary experiences

I’ve been deliberating since Wednesday about how to begin writing about the seminary visitation in light of my experiences as a former seminarian. I’ve decided that I will begin by explaining a bit about where I am coming from, because if I do not (and maybe even if I do) I will likely be tagged as a reactionary conservative with an ax to grind about my time in the Saint Paul Seminary. So, this weekend, I will write a post with a bit of history about my seminary experiences, what I’ve learned from them, and then I can move on by looking at the Instrumentum Laboris.

Of course I come to this project with biases. I am a human subject, not a tape recorder. I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that my years in seminary were painful but a time of grace as well. It’s a difficult thing to look with the sober eyes of charity at an institution that, in many ways, I feel has been failing to serve the Church with an undivided heart. But let he who has an undivided heart cast the first stone.

Forgiving some of the members of the institution is a slow process, but one that I am personally committed to. The human condition is messy, and being honest about it is at times a bit painful. But it is also liberating, if we believe in the mercy of God.

My point in writing about the seminary is not to engage in a witch hunt or a personal vendetta. For the most part, I won’t be naming individuals, as the goal is not to engage in detraction but to bring some problems to light, with the hope that things can change by being assessed with honesty and charity.

I’d appreciate your prayers for wisdom and prudence.

7 thoughts on “writing about my seminary experiences

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  3. Looking forward to your series, Father. My only brush with seminary life was a couple of nights stay with a friend at the seminary in Washington, D.C. back in the 70’s. I’d hate to judge seminary formation based on <>that<> experience.

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  5. <>How does an impersonal institution like a seminary have a “heart”, much less an undivided one?<>I was thinking of Saint Paul, who exhorted the < HREF="http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/philippians/philippians2.htm" REL="nofollow">Philippians<> to <>complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing.<>See Fr. Thomas Dubay on the topic of < HREF="http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=6614&pgnu=" REL="nofollow">shared vision<>.

  6. Hello Clayton.How does an impersonal institution like a seminary have a “heart”, much less an undivided one? The most one could hope for was strong leadership from the top and conversion and holiness from the members therein, and for this I pray every day. It’s easy to point the finger at an “institution”, but requires more courage to confront offending persons.Which is why I am relieved that you are in the “slow process” of forgiving offending members. Otherwise, blaming the corporate body would make me guilty by association, now that I am a member of said institution. Fortunately, our friendship predates either of us being in this institution; I would think painful memories need not jeopardize that.Please do bring problems to light: the more light, the better. And pray also for me, that I may have what AA calls “the courage to change what I can, the grace to accept what I cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference.”Your Nefarious Liturgist.

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