Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A Christmas in the Life of a Seminarian

As we wind down after the Christmas and New Year jollies we thought we'd tell our readers just how we spend those three weeks we like to call a holiday.

Week 1 is for recuperating after a long and stressful term. It is also the week that the Parish Priest takes advantage of the Seminarian being home and takes his pre-Christmas retreat leaving the Seminarian in charge of the parish and to show the Rent-a-Priest the ropes.

As week 1 comes to a close and week 2 begins Christmas Eve comes along and brings with it the Christmas cold. The Seminarian wakes up unable to breathe and realising he has to martial 10 young children around a Sanctuary at Midnight. He spends the day overdosing on as many cold and flu remedies as he can so to be able to get through the Christmas Masses. He MC's an incredible Midnight Mass, gets 5/6 hours sleep, MC's an incredible Christmas morning Mass and goes home to spend Christmas day with his family.

The Christmas Octave brings with it more Masses to MC and at one point during those eight incredible days comes the Diocesan Seminarians' Christmas Lunch. My Diocese had ours on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the Vocations Director said Mass and then we polished off his gin before going out to sample the local delights.

The Octave ends with New year celebrations. My parish had Mass for the New Civil Year at 10pm on New Year's Eve followed by Exposition at 11:45 and Benediction at 12:15. It was a beautiful way to see in the New Year. Then of course we celebrated the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God this morning.

Week 3 consists of winding down after all that and preparing to return to seminary more tired than when he left. The Seminarian looks forward to relaxing with a nice long essay.

So spare a thought for your Seminarians next Christmas and pray hard for his vocation!


Mac McLernon said...

My parish had Mass for the New Civil Year at 10pm on Christmas eve

I've heard of anticipating a feast, but that's going a bit far...


Ok, you have my sympathy (some of it) - some time soon I'll post on the two-week Christmas holiday of the teacher!!

Anonymous said...

Well, I'll certainly keep you in my prayers, but I wonder whether you might not - both as a seminarian and a priest - need to learn the gentle art of saying no. Perhaps the Lord is giving you a taste of the sort of demands that will be put on you after ordination, and whilst your dedication and commitment can only be admired, if you NEVER take time to look after your spiritual and physical health, then my worry would be that you would "burn out" within a short space of time. Of course, everyone has to be sensitive to this when placing demands on priests and seminarians, but I do hope that the seminary can provide you with strategies for managing this problem in a constructive way.

Orthfully Catholic said...

Thanks for that Mac, the post has been edited accordingly!