Sunday 5 June 2011

The other Seminary Success in Lincoln, Nebraska!

Some of the seminarians from Our Lady of Guadalupe,
Nebraska, USA in procession.

There was a great deal of interest expressed in my post about Life in the Seminary of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, under Bishop Fabian Bruskuwitz. This Friday I met a number of seminarians from ANOTHER seminary in the same diocese - that belonging to the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP), which Bishop Bruskuwitz has been a great friend to.

Newly ordained Fr Matthew McCarthy FSSP offered a wonderful Solemn Mass here on Friday evening with a full church and beautiful chant from the seminarians from Nebraska - plus one of them keeping us in good order as the MC - unfortunately, there were technical difficulties with the video of the Mass and so no record to show you. Some of the seminarians are going on to walk the Chartres Pilgrimage this week, where stout walking boots and a tent in your back-pack are essential accompaniments to the cassock.

It was very impressive to meet solid, robust young men, full of enthusiasm for life and for the Faith - and looking like seminarians as well. The oft repeated myth of traditional seminarians being "young fogeys" could not be laid at the door of these seminarians. What a great witness to the Faith!

The full chapel at the seminary in Nebraska.

What a contrast to the sad situation of the seminaries here in Britain and in Durham, where St Cuthbert's is to close this year. I understand that those groups that have put rescue and business plans forward to save Ushaw are still awaiting any reply.

Somebody commented on my post Life in the Seminary voicing a concern that some seminaries like the FSSP, the diocesan seminary in Nebraska and the seminary for the diocese of Frejus-Toulon are only full because they are "soaking up" the men from elsewhere who express their faith in a more "traditional" manner. Here's what he says:

While I am very happy that Bishop Bruskewitz is standing up for real, authentic, and orthodox Catholicism in his diocese (I may help push for his canonization when he passes on, I like him that much), I worry that there's a bit of "post hoc ergo propter hoc" going on here with seminarian numbers. I wonder if many of the seminarians who seek to be ordained in the "good" dioceses like Lincoln, Peioria, Arlington, and [the French one mentioned in this post] are from other diocese who want to be ordained in an orthodox diocese that upholds authentic Catholicism rather than deal with pastors in their own diocese who allow all sorts of nonsense in their masses and formation. Thus we're concentrating our best priests in certain dioceses, when they are needed elsewhere to be the pastors of the future where heterodoxy has reigned for too long? Do we have any numbers on how many of these seminarians are home-grown as opposed to transplants?
There may be something in this but it is definitely not the whole story. I know of a number of good men who would like to test their vocation but do not necessarily want to go to another country or to a society that only offers the EF Mass. The answer is in faithfulness to the full wonder of the Catholic Faith. Shawn Labadie commented on the same post that there is no secret to this. Here is what he says (with my highlights).

My name is Shawn Labadie with Labadie Communications. We work with the Diocese of Lincoln in Lincoln, Nebraska USA to produce the poster, part of which is displayed on this post, and a package that raises money for the education of seminarians. We have worked with the diocese for 16 years helping them to build the culture of vocations that you are seeing the fruits of.

Of course we are just assisting in this work and all the credit goes first to God and second to Bishop Bruskewitz his predecessors, the vocation directors and the laity of the Diocese of Lincoln who have made the work of vocations a high priority.

Almost all the men you see are native to the diocese. The diocese of Lincoln has a history of orthodoxy that Bishop Bruskewitz has continued during his tenure. There is no secret to success in vocations, but it's not easy if a culture of vocations doesn't exist in a diocese. It truly begins at home and in southern Nebraska you find families not only talking about vocations to their children, but actively promoting vocations not only to the priesthood, but to religious life as well.

The Diocese of Lincoln is not alone in the United States, but sadly we are a minority. In every case of high percentages of vocations you find an orthodox diocese, bishop and clergy.

Quod erat demonstrandum.


Leo Darroch said...

I had the great privilege at the end of May to spend 5 days at the FSSP seminary at Denton and attend the ordination of Fr Matthew McCarthy. I have also heard the allegation that seminarians in the traditional seminaries are 'old fogeys' but the exact opposite is true. The young men I spoke to were full of youthful energy, were highly inteligent, and possessed a deep faith that radiated from them. In cooperation with EWTN, the seminary has produced a 30 minute DVD entitled 'To God Who Giveth Joy To My Youth'. It is a brief video snapshot of life at the seminary at Denton and it is now available for sale at only 10 US dollars. At the risk of being labelled a salesman, this is the blurb on the DVD case: I am sure that Fr de Malleray would be able to provide this DVD for British customers.

This program chronicles the life of seminarians at the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter seminary in Denton, Nebraska, including their spiritual formation, liturgical life, education, work and recreation. The particular mission of the Fraternity is to offer the Sacred Liturgy, including the Holy mass and the Divine Office, as well as the sacraments, in all of their traditional solemnity, according to the Latin liturgical books of 1962. The Fraternity's name denotes the brotherhood's thanksgiving, filial love, and loyalty to the supreme Pontiff. 1 disc. 1/2 hr.

Price: $10.00

Leo Darroch said...

I have no idea why the word DVD in my first comments has been highlighted in blue - I did not do this. The link to this DVD is as follows:

GOR said...

QED indeed, Father!

When are other bishops and dioceses going to learn the lesson?

Anonymous said...

Reading your headline, my first thought was "Is there another seminary besides OLG in Lincoln?"