A visit from our seminarians

    Greetings from the cloister! I had hoped to make this post about the ice storm but, alas, the machine to develop film at our local Walmart is in need of repair…God-willing, I’ll bring you that story next week. Please do continue to pray for those 20,000 plus in Kentucky still without power, some of whom are our very neighbors. Thank God today it is a warm 55 degrees.

    In the meantime I thought you would enjoy reading about our annual Christmas visit with our Owensboro seminarians and candidates. Postulant Shannon wrote this article for our diocesan newspaper. She’s kinda got a knack for writing…I know you’ll like it.

From the Cloister: Seminarians Make Annual Visit to Passionist Monastery

    We knew their names. We knew their faces. We lift them up in prayer everyday. But as for the Passionist formation sisters (Postulants, to be precise), neither Sharon Miller nor myself had ever had the privilege of meeting any of our Dioceses’ seminarians face to face.

    We along with all of the Passionist Nuns were anticipating our official visit with the seminarians, along with their director, Fr. Andy Garner, which would take place on the last night of their annual three-day retreat here at St. Joseph Monastery. What a joy and blessing it was to finally have the opportunity to meet and greet the young men who are constantly in our prayers as they continue on their individual journeys toward their final ordinations!

    A doorbell sounded through the monastery corridors announcing their arrival on December 20. However, most of the sisters (Sharon and I included) would have to wait until two days later before saying our hellos.

    Until then, we reveled in their strong and encouraging presence on the public side of our chapel during our daily celebration of the Holy Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours. The sound of their voices chanting with ours from across the water channel which divided us was a real experience of the unique unity that exists between the prayer of priests and religious (whether ordained, professed, or discerning). I had to pause several times as we chanted the Liturgy of the Hours together in order to savor this awesome reality. It was the sound of Christ’s life and prayer animating and unifying the Catholic Church through His Holy Spirit alive in all of her members!

    We were blessed to be able to hear homilies at Mass given by newly ordained Deacons, Daniel Dillard and Josh McCarty. There was a sense of pride and delight ineshared amongst the sisters in witnessing the fruit of the graces at work in their lives as they complete the final stages of formation. We were happy to have the opportunity to give them our congratulations in person, feeling that we had already celebrated and been present with them spiritually through prayer.

    Our official visit with the seminarians was a blast! The room was filled with joy, laughter, and smiling faces. We so enjoyed this brief but bright window into the characters and gifts of each of the young men we were introduced to. Particularly memorable were the comical stories they shared with us about their experiences in the seminary— one involving an unfortunate misunderstanding about a dreaded “pink slip.” It was truly a pleasure to meet each of them and witness the real sense of friendship and brotherhood, which they seem to share amongst themselves.


    We left our visit with smiles, a handful of handshakes, mutual promises of remembrance in prayer, and gratitude for our God’s gift of vocation. I am certain that I speak for all of our Passionist sisters in expressing my own joy and gratitude: How encouraging and exciting to see such a large and lively group of young men seeking to give their loving ALL to God and His Church!


 Mother Catherine Marie catches Deacon Josh McCarty
taking their photo

 PHOTOS: Rev. Mr. Joshua McCarty


This entry was posted by Sponsa Christi.

4 thoughts on “A visit from our seminarians

  1. When I first saw this picture that Deacon Josh took of the meeting of the seminarians and the Passionists, I thought to myself, “somebody needs to use this somewhere.” It’s just a powerful witness of vocations, to the religious life and the priesthood. I loved the way it was used in the Western KY Catholic newspaper with Shannon and Byron’s articles, getting both perspectives on the blessed evening.

    God is so good to bless us with so many holy vocations in our diocese and in our community. It is also a great blessing that you share with one another the special gifts that God has given to you.

    Thank you for being such welcoming hostesses to our seminarians and Father Andy. It is a wonderful place for them to come each year to gather together with eachother and with you, to draw ever closer to God, the giver of all gifts. And I always enjoy my visits as well.

    Thanks for sharing this special gift.

  2. Yes, I had a similar experience when I was with the hundreds of other seminarians at the Mass for Life in the Basilica the night before the March. It was so uplifting to be with all of them, knowing that we all loved the Church and the unborn.

  3. Amen, Shannon! The one word that came to mind over and over again as I read this was CONSOLATION. What a wonderful consolation this was for all of you, and it is a consolation for me as well as vocations are always in my own intentions, too. The vocations are there! God doesn’t fail us! We parents have to foster them. We cannot fail in this. Parents have to step up to the plate. GOD BLESS the parents of these seminarians! I am interested, Sister, in having an “adopt-a-seminarian” prayer intention for families. I’m putting thought into how to do that. Are you aware of any such things? Perhaps individual parishes have an “adopt-a-seminarian” prayer for families? Any ideas? Again, it nourishes my soul to read of this visit. God bless all.

    I’m not familiar with any such prayer but perhaps someone reading this comment will be and will write you. You might try writing to our diocesan vocation office and asking there? Happy hunting…

  4. and shannon was wondering what she’d ever do with that english degree if she didn’t teach… 😀

    You’re “write” Charlotte – she has great writing skills which will certainly be put to use to build up the Kingdom!

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