Liturgical dance? Check out these tap-dancing seminarians in Rome—UPDATED

From the North American College (via Joan Lewis of EWTN) comes this demonstration of terpsichorean talent by some happy hoofers at the rector’s dinner last month. UPDATE:  Got an email Sunday morning from a reader the Pontifical North American College in Rome: Since your blog is, after all, the “Deacon’s Bench,”  thought you might like [Read More...]

20-year-old seminarian dies on feast of Divine Mercy

Sad news from Charlotte this weekend: Michael Gerard Kitson, 20, of Waxhaw, passed away on Sunday, April 27, 2014. He was a seminarian for the Diocese of Charlotte, studying for the priesthood at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. Visitation will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29, at St. [Read More...]

Jesuits report big jump in vocation inquiries

From CBS News:  Sean McCreight has a passion for teaching. But the 25-year-old California native is leaving that behind to pursue an even higher calling: becoming a Jesuit priest. “I think to see Pope Francis living an active religious life, that’s another aspect that’s attractive to me,” he said. “His life is so filled with [Read More...]

On call: a doctor studies for the diaconate

From Seton Hall University: Despite a busy medical practice, pediatrician Michael Giuliano has embarked on a spiritual journey to become a deacon. As a neonatal pediatrician and medical educator in Hackensack, N.J., Dr. Michael Giuliano leads an intensely busy life. “Literally there were years when I worked, studied, worked, slept,” he says. And yet, Giuliano [Read More...]

Pope reflects on Holy Orders

Image: The Ordination of St. Lawrence by Fra Angelico From Vatican Radio: Greeting thousands of pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square for the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis spoke about the sacrament of Holy Orders, praying that the Lord may provide holy, generous and merciful pastors for his Church. Please find below the text [Read More...]

Battling the problem of pornography among future priests

Here’s an issue you don’t hear about very much, from the National Catholic Register:  Fifteen-year-old Alex (not his real name) has been thinking of a possible vocation to the priesthood for several years already. Aware that he’s still a youth, he’s comfortable with the ongoing discernment process: He’s busy trying to deepen his prayer life, [Read More...]

What more could women do in the Church? Here are some ideas.

Some intriguing possibilities here from Msgr. M. Francis Mannion, via PrayTell:   The Church continues to be at a loss as to how to advance the roles of women in its administrative structures. While the Church does not see its way to the priestly and episcopal ordination of women, some responsible scholars have argued that [Read More...]

“You don’t have to like your priest”

An interesting observation via Word on Fire, from Dominican Br. Patrick Mary Briscoe: It may well be the case that your parish priest preaches homilies that are—how do we say it gently?—uninspiring. Maybe you’ve come to him to ask a serious question about the faith concerning a teaching or mystery you’ve really struggled with, and [Read More...]

“Formation on steroids”: the life of a seminarian about to be ordained a priest

A young deacon I know who will be ordained a priest in June sent me an email the other day, describing his life these days as “formation on steroids.” I reprint part of it below with his permission. If you want to know what the life of a seminarian is like, take a look:  This [Read More...]

Seminarians on celibacy: “We’re saying ‘yes’ to Christ”

CNS’s Robert Duncan produced this fine video, featuring seminarians from the North American College in Rome discussing their thoughts on celibacy. Take a look. [Read more...]


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