A Seedbed for Lifelong Growth
As I approach the end of my time in seminary, I cannot imagine my life any differently. I have been truly blessed these last five years, as I have come to know, respect, and learn a great deal from dedicated and holy priests. I am blessed to have a bishop who knows and loves his seminarians.
I am truly blessed to have been called by God to be his priest—every day, for the rest of my life. I pray every day that I and my brother seminarians can live up to the challenges that lay ahead of us.
The seminary has taken my life and has helped to mold it after Christ's—through Him, with Him, in Him. It has helped me to prepare for the world as a parish priest, in service to Christ and his Body. Come June 9, 2012, everything will be different for me. My life will change, forever. The challenges will be tremendous—the apostolic priesthood means a fundamental and permanent deliverance of my whole self into the hands of Christ. Whatever else may become of me, I will never not be His priest, and therefore, all His.
It is daunting to consider, yet I am confident that, having been formed in the seminary by a fantastic faculty, I am ready to meet those challenges head on.
There is a great deal of uncertainty about the future. The church is being attacked from every corner. Religious freedoms are being challenged in ways never before imagined, here in America. While the future may be uncertain what is certain is that God will continue to bless us and He will continue to call more men to the priesthood of His Son.
When I entered the seminary more than five years ago, I promised myself that, on my ordination day, I would not be the same person I was at that moment—that I would not permit myself to remain the same.
Ha. As if I had a choice but to be humbled, and undone, changed and remade.
I am still on that journey of formation; I will be for the rest of my life, but surely that promise has been kept and more—in ways I never could have imagined, all because of the formation I have received while experiencing the unique gift of being in the seminary.
Michael Duffy is a Fourth-Year Seminarian at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He looks forward with great joy to his ordination in June of 2012. (Photo by Greg Shemitz)