As the weather is getting warmer and the beach and cabin are calling our names it can be easy for us to forget to keep our adopted Seminarian in our prayers throughout the summer months. In fact, this is often still a very important time of discernment for these young men. Many are traveling on mission work or doing various ministry internships.Others are back to their “normal life” or in the working world where there can be many different types of temptations. Let’s continue to keep them in our prayers!
I would like to share with you my experience of praying for my seminarian. When I was a teenager, growing up at the Church of Saint Paul and teaching 3rd grade Family Formation, there was an extra seminarian card, for a young man named Scott Carl, left over from the January Vocations session. I took it home and taped it on my closet, in a prominent place where I would see it and remember to pray. Every time I would see Scott’s picture I would offer a little prayer. Sometimes I would forget, or my clothes would get piled on the door, covering up his picture, but regardless, he was often in my prayers.
I followed Seminarian Scott’s progression up the Seminary poster and got very excited when I saw his picture in the diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Spirit, on the occasions of his Diaconate and Priesthood Ordinations. Although we had never actually communicated, he was my spiritual brother, and I was very proud of him at these important times in his vocation.
Many years later, long after I had remembered to keep him in my prayers, I was attending a young adult’s event at the Seminary where they offered the Sacrament of Confession. I got at the end of a long line at the end of which were many available priests. Once they reached the beginning of the line the penitent would go to whichever priest was available. As my time came, I watched for an opening and headed up to the confessional, only to find the white, paper sign on the wall indicating that the priest in this space was Fr. Scott Carl, my long-ago adopted seminarian!
Not only was it one of the best confessions of my life, but it was also such a gift to be able to receive this beautiful Sacrament from the priest for whom I had prayed for so long! It is hard to describe the experience, but it was a very significant blessing! I could see what a wonderful priest he was and was overjoyed that my prayers had played even a very small part in his formation. I was also very humbled and just so grateful!
Whether you have been in constant communication with your adopted seminarian or if you have never spoken to him, please know that he is certainly blessed by your prayers and that, perhaps personally or spiritually, you will also be very blessed in offering up a sacrifice of prayer on his behalf.
Many thanks to Danielle for sharing her encouraging testimony with us!