The Journey of a Priest: Sacred Heart of Jesus Seminary

The Journey of a Priest: Sacred Heart of Jesus Seminary

Why did I want to become a priest? What
called me to this vocation? Which moments during my seminary
formation assured me that I was on the right path? Am I happy with my decision When I attended a priestly ordination
for the first time, I thought seriously of becoming a priest. It was a feeling
that came over me at the anointing of the priests’ hands. And it did not remain just a feeling for a long. I began testing my vocation over the years. I first
completed my studies to become an architect which I also felt called to.
But the calling to become a priest would not let me go; I wanted to live a full
life free from purely material concerns I came to realize my God-given talent for working with young people. That is the talent
which I sought to develop. I became dedicated to the idea of caring for
children and young people as sharing their joys, fears, and worries – in order to
give these youngsters much-needed moral support in their lives. The priest
doesn’t live in his own little world. His very purpose is to live among people
and to serve them. That was my goal and my deepest longing. Shortly before my graduation, I went on retreat for the first time in my life – spending several
days in silence and prayer. A retreat is a special occasion for simple
conversation with God in meditation to gain better knowledge of his will. On
that retreat I knew clearly that God was calling me to the priesthood. I also
spoke with the retreat preacher who supported me in my desire for the
priesthood and advised me to visit the seminary During that visit I was impressed by the atmosphere of silence peace and recollection which reigned in
the seminary. Moreover I had the occasion to make new friends among the
seminarians and with whom I could spend time in their daily activities. I have
fond memories of the soccer games we played. At that moment the die was cast: I
decided to enter the seminary. In today’s world everything revolves around man. We see today’s priests involved in secular
projects serving as theologians on a committee or as social workers. They are
all devoted and committed to their cause but they have forgotten the most
important point: the priest is a man of God, and all these social programs – for
all the good they might do – cannot replace the priesthood. And we are being
cheated if the Faith only brings about mutual understanding and good feelings
about ourselves. That is worldly theology. That is “feel-good” theology. If that was all the priesthood
was about I wouldn’t pursue it I would have gotten married and served as a
pastoral assistant. But there is much more to priesthood than this it aims
much higher The priests life is defined by the most
intimate personal union with God. He speaks with God in the name of the
Church. And that is the prayer of the breviary which he prays every day.
It belongs essentially to his vocation and is among his basic duties duties.Through this prayer the priest himself is filled with the Holy Ghost, or
as st. Augustine puts it, “in thee there must burn the fire which thou wouldst
enkindle in others.” And from this total commitment flows
the obligation to celibacy; the unmarried life of the priest. For this reason the
priest plays a central role especially among the youth as another Christ he
seeks to enkindle the fire of the Holy Ghost in the hearts of the youth. Therefore his presence in schools goes far beyond the task of a religion
teacher. Through the priests life and example he shows the children the ideal
of the imitation of Christ. A true priest makes it clear to the young people that
Christ was much more than a charismatic social reformer. In order to transform
souls through God’s sanctifying influence, the priest uses extraordinary
means – the sacraments. These are coming but some different crystals these are
sources of grace and holiness instituted by Christ himself
and the goal of the priests work is the administration of the sacraments. The ceremony of baptism is not
just a time for a family to rejoice over the birth of a new child. At the moment
when the priest pronounces the words of baptism and pours water over the head
he gives the child the gift of sanctifying grace, making him a child of
God. In the sacrament of matrimony he brings the couple’s marriage vows before
God, and calls down God’s blessings upon the new family. Thus the priest is the one who gives
sanctifying grace. He forms the faithful through the mystery of the sacraments
and leads them into closer union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The knowledge
of God with the deepening of our faith should bring us one step closer to Him
this is all about building up a life-giving contract with God. This is
the goal of my priestly office – as a mediator. In order to build this
relationship between God and man in order to work effectively as mediator
and intercessor, the priest should preach the truths of the faith in his sermons
relying always on God’s revelation Heaven, after all, is the final goal of
our earthly life: transformed and exalted by God’s grace. The priest teaches men
the way to heaven and accompanies them guiding them towards this eternal goal. If man strays from the path to heaven by sinning, if he turns his back on his God
and Savior, Christ – through the priest’s hands – sends His mercy down to the man
wounded by sin and cleanses the man’s soul from all his sins in the Sacrament
of Penance. Here the priest applies the purifying and sanctifying power of
Christ effectively to the soul of the sinner, who is now delivered and can
continue his journey with joy and renewed courage. What gives the priest
this ability? Where does he get this redeeming power which he pours out on
the faithful in abundance? He gets it from the daily offering of
the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in which he truly makes present again the
sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Every morning the priest holds in his
consecrated hands the sacred Body and the precious Blood of Jesus Christ. This
is the source of all the graces which the priest showers down on the faithful
through the sacraments. Our Lord’s infinite love is not yet satisfied when
He comes down on the altar in the hands of the priest, when he dwells in our
Tabernacles for us to visit Him and adore Him there. Our Lord is not
satisfied with blessing us solemnly by His real presence in the Holy Eucharist.
He yearns to come even closer to us he wants to give himself to us completely
with His divinity and humanity – with His flesh and blood – with His body and soul
thus he offers himself as food for our souls. It is a great joy for the priest
to place the Savior on the tongues of the faithful. Through his
priests the Savior accompanies his children throughout their lives. And even
in the final moments, when the soul leaves the body of the dying, the priest
is there by his side. He purifies and strengthens the dying for their entry
into eternity. Not only does the priest guide us on the road to Heaven, he even
opens for us the gate which leads to eternal happiness. Now I wanted to attain
the ideal which attracted me so much I wanted a solid Catholic formation which
would enable me to serve and assist men in their different walks of life. But which moments in the seminary life
showed me that I was on the right path? The important moments when I knew that I
was in the right place occurred during the youth camps on summer vacation. Here I witnessed the good influence which a priest can have on the youth – how much he can help them by spending time with them and living out Saint Paul’s words;
“becoming all things to all men” In our seminary I
recognized for the first time that being a priest means above all loving the Holy
Mass, offering daily the Holy Sacrifice through the heavenly Father, and this is
precisely what modern seminaries nowadays view with an entirely different
outlook. A Salesian priest once told me that the church’s future no longer
depends on the priest but rather on the faithful – on the laity. But that is a
great misunderstanding of the church’s nature. For if there are no more priests,
then there is no more Holy Mass. And if the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass no longer
exists, then the church has lost its meaning entirely; which is also the
reason why we find the new Mass unsatisfactory due to its Protestant
spirit. coming to Zaitzkofen was not a
difficult choice. I had known priests growing up and I knew what they were
like. They are usually calm, relatively
educated, serious in matters of the faith and they had a kind of goodness about
them – not a sentimental kind of goodness – but a principled way of acting that I
really admired. When they celebrated Mass or prayed their bravery you could tell
that the first place in their life was for God. And when I decided to become a
priest myself I knew I wanted to go where priests were formed like the ones
I had known. I wanted to study Catholic theology. I wanted to wear a cassock and
I wanted to sing Gregorian Chant. I wanted to learn st. Thomas’s philosophy and
theology and I wanted to say the mass in Latin – in the traditional rite. And
that’s what I found here in Zaitzkofen: in a very peaceful, harmonious environment.
It’s a pleasant place to be even just on a human level. In my opinion
Zaitzkofen is at the ideal place to prepare intellectually and spiritually
for life as a priest in today’s world. Now I could impart to others the
intimate love of Jesus Christ which had welled up within me. I noticed this not
only during my summer apostolate but also in my dealings with men overall,
which made clear to me that the priest can lead souls to God through an
apostolate which is directed by prayer. Am i happy with my decision? In my year
of apostolate spent in Africa I saw firsthand how much the priests can help
miserable and abandoned souls by means of the sacraments. And now as a young
priest I already hear many confessions, and thus have a direct influence on
souls as another Christ. A sinner enters the confessional and comes out cleansed.
Who would not be overjoyed in having the power to give such consolation to one’s
fellow man? Yes, I am happy through no merits of my own, I have become an
instrument of salvation and now I am ready to be sent into the world. After studying in a diocesan seminary I joined the Society of Saint Pius X, because
it preserves the Catholic priesthood as it was always practiced in the church.
Unfortunately this concept is not the basis for priestly formation in the
modern seminaries. The formation there is loaded with Modernism; a system of ideas
which the church is condemned explicitly. Modernism tends systematically to put
the emphasis on man instead of God. This is apparent in all areas of priestly
formation and in the priestly life. In the liturgy in the Holy Mass the priest
is no longer presented as another Christ who in his very person offers the
sacrifice of the Cross in an unbloody manner. Rather he functions as the
president of the assembly according to the Protestant idea. In theology multiple
errors are taught: biblical inerrancy is denied. The church is placed on the same
level as other religions. The priests’ role is diminished. With the relaxation
of discipline one of its primary objectives, namely the mortification of
evil tendencies, is hardly ever practiced in spirituality silence and recollection
disappear. In the care of souls – instead of drawing strength from an
interior life, instead of relying on the power of God’s grace – one relies on
merely exterior activities. Thus the priest’s role is reduced to that of an
organizer, or a social worker. Therefore whoever wants to become a
mediator between God and man cannot condone this program which
dilutes the faith, and destroys the priests identity. May he stay on the road
which the church has always followed, by his fidelity to her unchanging tradition.
This tradition is a guarantee for the preservation of the faith, for the
renewal of the church and this is especially brought about by the renewal
of the priesthood. I wanted for myself an authentic
priestly formation as I had no desire to be a religious social worker. Listen to
this the archbishop in France said in November 2013 that in his
20 years as a bishop he had buried 120 priests, whereas he had ordained only one
deacon to the priesthood. This tremendous decline didn’t worry him, since just this
year he has appointed several lay ministers in his diocese. In my diocesan
seminary they would have trained me to be a financial administrator for the
modern church. The church must be rebuilt once again. For this we need zealous
apostles who restore all things in Christ. That is why I entered the Society
of St. Pius X here. How are the candidates for the
priesthood formed for this supernatural responsibility? The
formation in the seminary begins with the so-called year of spirituality. Here
we lay the foundation for the entire spiritual life of the future priest. His
life revolves more and more around all the spiritual duties which he will have
later on. For instance daily Mass, weekly
confession, spiritual Direction, daily recitation of the rosary, reading of
Scripture, spiritual reading, and of course also the daily chanting or
recitation of the Divine Office. For all of these are obligations that will
accompany him for the rest of his life. But he also becomes acquainted with the
theoretical foundations of the spiritual life. With these in mind he takes a
course in ascetical and mystical theology and thus becomes more familiar
with the path to God on which all the saints have traveled. And that is
something entirely different from empty prayer formulas or simply feel-good
religion. In liturgy class we introduced him to the ceremonies of the church’s
yearly cycle, and of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in Gregorian chant class
we present to him the history and theory behind Gregorian chant while training
him to sing it properly. Furthermore we give him a serious introduction to Holy
Scripture and in the course known as acts of the Magisterium he becomes well
acquainted with the most important documents of the Popes and counsels
from the last 200 years which address above all the problems of the modern
world which are felt in the Church of today. On this point it is impressive to
notice the insistence with which the Pope’s warned us against the very
dangers which today are proposed to us as solutions, and how clearly they
foresaw the problems which we are fighting against today. A high point of
the year of spirituality is the solemn ceremony of the taking of the cassock.
After four months the seminarian receives his cassock and from then on he
will give witness to our Lord Jesus Christ by his mere presence. In the second and third
years of formation after the year of spirituality, we fill the seminarians’
minds following the directives of the teaching of the papal Magisterium, with a
healthy-balanced tried-and-true philosophy of st. Thomas Aquinas. And it is wonderful to observe the seminarians thinking more
and more clearly – how much their common sense opens up and develops through
contact with this realistic, objective philosophy. How quickly they learn to
think outside the box. How they develop the ability to make distinctions and to
see the different sides of a question. In the first semester a historical introduction
to philosophy directs their gaze upon the world of ideas and their influence
on history of different countries. Logic strengthens their intellect and trains them to work according to a method which
is firmly rooted in reality. With cosmology and the philosophy of nature,
with psychology, they acquire the knowledge of what things are: living and
non-living beings, but mainly human beings. With their immortal souls which
direct them to the knowledge of the truth and the love of the good. In the third semester in metaphysics the
most basic truths are proven which hold together the entire body of natural
knowledge, and to complete their formation in philosophy we teach them
ethics, with extensive treatment of the basic principles which govern human
actions on the natural level. Alongside the study of philosophy the seminarians
take a course in apologetics, where they receive a scientific demonstration of
the credibility of dogmas. And in the next year with the ecclesiology we
impress upon them the traditional teaching on the nature of the Roman
Church. The sources for all this are primarily the Magisterium, namely the
first Vatican Council, and papal encyclicals such as satis cognitum and
Mistici corpus but we also studied the great theologians like Cardinals Belauch
and Franzelin, and Fathers Garrigou-Lagrange and Zapelena. The fact that
the new ecclesiology, with its modernist idea of the church, constitutes a novelty
and a break with the tradition of the church is clearly proven by the study of
these sources. The two-year study of philosophy is
completed by a 3-year study of theology. During these years in dogmatic theology
we conduct an intensive exploration of the vast area of the Catholic faith, with
its mysteries such as the Trinity, the Incarnation, the redemption, grace, the
Holy Mass, and the sacraments. For our guide we have st. Thomas Aquinas who for
centuries has been recommended by the Pope’s as teacher and master of theology
and received the title of common doctor. And of course there follows an in-depth
analysis of opinions taught in modern theology. In moral theology we cover
first of all the foundations of Christian morality. Under the guidance of
st. Thomas Aquinas we developed a positive outlook on moral theology, far
from any false casuistry or exaggerated focus on sin. A sound knowledge of moral
theology is a prerequisite for the administration of the holy sacrament of
confession, and for moral guidance. Incidentally the development of modern
technology and modern medicine poses new problems. To these problems, such as the
use of artificial feeding tubes or the prolongation of life by machines,
Catholic moral principles must have a ready answer. Of course the academic study of Holy Scripture is
continued Holy Scripture has a decisive importance as a source of Revelation and
faith. For theology as well as for the development of genuine spirituality. Even
in our modern hectic age the priests intimate union with God makes him a
solid rock amidst stormy seas. In pastoral theology, there follows then the
practical introduction of our seminarians to the care of souls this
program includes rhetoric, homiletics, pastoral care of different groups and
walks of life, and the teaching of the faith through catechism. As supplements
to all this we have guest lectures or seminars such as special instructions by
doctors on dealing with emotionally disturbed persons. Other seminars are
devoted to the topics of leadership, organization, time management, or crisis
management thus our seminarians are well prepared for the pastoral needs of souls
in our time. The study of canon law is likewise indispensable. Church law
furnishes that church’s social bodies with the proper guidelines. These
guidelines are based on charity, grace and the salvation of souls which at the
same time facilitates the orderly development of church life and the
individual believer. The priest’s every activity in the church
is bound up with law, rights, and duties. Liturgy classes help to deepen the
seminarians’ knowledge of – and love for – the church’s rites and ceremonies. These
are not just empty rituals, but rather a genuine expression of the church’s
tender love for God and Christ, her spouse. In addition lectures on church history are likewise continued. History is a
great teacher which holds many lessons precisely for our time, and on how we
must overcome the crisis in the church Here in the seminary we work towards
giving our seminarians a complete and well-rounded formation. Doctrine, piety,
liturgy, and discipline work together to complete each other. In our amply
furnished library our seminarians can convince themselves that we pass down to
them merely what we ourselves have received. That means the teaching of the
church handed down by the Popes, the counsels, and the great theologians.
On Archbishop’s Lefebvre’s tombstone we read “I have handed down to
you what I have received.” The goal of the young seminarian is not
self-actualization, but rather inspired by faith to become a man of God – an
instrument in the likeness of Christ. Doctrine and piety are therefore two
pillars on which our formation rests for these young men whom divine providence
has confided to us. The seminary is on the one
hand a monastery, and on the other hand a university. Our formation rests on both
of these columns. But these two pillars must be accompanied by the traditional
liturgy. The Holy Mass as a real sacrifice of adoration, and praise of
Thanksgiving and propitiation, and of petition. Without the traditional liturgy
priestly formation is doomed to failure. And what about the spirit of the church?
That is our primary goal. We seek to form men of God hence men of the church who
are equipment for the spiritual combat which lies before them. The years of
formation are accompanied by the individual stages leading up to the Holy
Orders which guide the seminarians step by step in their ascent to the altar of
sacrifice, supported by the cross of Christ, inebriated by the blood of the
Redeemer, relying on Mary’s status as the Mediatrix of all graces the young
seminarian can look forward with confidence. As the archbishop said so well in his “Spiritual Journey” a priest
enlightened by faith, and filled with the virtues and gifts of the Spirit of Jesus,
can convert numerous souls to Jesus Christ; raise up vocations, and transform a pagan society into a Christian society. That is the ideal which I
had before my eyes: I wanted to be that kind of priest… Simply Catholic – that
means, traditional. Therefore a priest who has received the mission from God to
save the souls of countless men. The salvation of souls is my highest goal as
a priest. I can achieve this goal by declaring the good news of the Catholic
faith to men; by giving them the sacraments. But the deepest way to reach
this goal is by offering the Holy Sacrifice of the mass, the source of all
graces and the highest expression of adoration and praise of propitiation of
Thanksgiving and of petition. Priest for eternity: that is
my present status. This grace filled me with great joy for what could be more
beautiful for a man than to work in Christ’s vineyard, to baptize children, to
reconcile penitent sinners to God ,to give the bread of life as spiritual
nourishment to the hungry, to give them the very body of Christ, to wrestle in
prayer, to win many souls who are not prepared to cut their ties to the
passing goods of this world, and thus will not renounce sinful habits. I am
ready to make reparation for the multiple offenses against God and His
Holy Church. My life is now penetrated by holiness. The harvest is great but the
laborers are few. The church needs traditional priests urgently – many
traditional priests. It’s your turn now to do something great
with your life.

13 Replies to “The Journey of a Priest: Sacred Heart of Jesus Seminary”

  1. the society of st pious xth priests and laymen are really great in their service to catholic church i am really happy their service latin mass

  2. Bless us o Lord with many Holy priests…..Save your Catholic church Lord…..This video is so, so inspiring…..Thank you for sharing!

  3. Too many pedophilia in the diocese priest. 210 million$ awarded to victims in Minneapolis/St Paul So they are closing schools and churches because of these priests. I trust SSPX weed out this curse.

  4. I actually think these boys have a point about priesthood in the wider church.
    I think we can say that priesthood is the world's third oldest profession (the second is politics.) When Christian ministry starts to resemble the first oldest profession, which it frequently does, especially among Anglicans and evangelicals, there's something wrong.
    Dunno if I've got that right or not, so comments are invited…..

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