Home > Orientation (NSE), SEMINARY LIFE > NSE Day 1: Arriving & Opening Mass

NSE Day 1: Arriving & Opening Mass

Today begins the first day of seminary for a 2 week long “New Student Experience” (NSE) before classes begin on August 27.  I finally arrived with my parents after 3pm. I’m upstairs rooming with a senior (not here until Aug 23 for returning student).  It’s only temporary, because there are a record 65 seminarians this semester, and 2 off-campus homes (nearby) will hold the Pre-Theologians (that’s me) in a few weeks (while they’re getting setup).


The Mass, celebrated by Fr. Michael Carruthers (Rector – in charge), focused on St. John Vianney, the patron saint of diocesan priests, and who the seminary was named after. St. John VianneyThe homily began with a story (that I’m trying to recall correctly) of a wise man who asked his students, “How do you know night has ended and daylight has begun?  Some incorrect student answers included, “When you can tell the difference between an oak tree & a willow tree.”  Another said, “When you can tell the difference between a dog & a wolf.”  After all failed in their great efforts, the wise man said, “You know night has ended and daylight has begun when you can see everyone as a brother or sister.”  (the veil of darkness is replaced by true sight)  … That is what we are all called to. 

The homily continued with St.John Vianney’s background.  He was a French seminarian that had difficulties learning Latin (he may have had a learning disability) but became a priest due to his great devotion.  He had difficult pastoral assignments, but always saw people as a brother or sister.  He was known as such a good confessor that he would take confessions for most of the day. 

EUREKA!  The areas of the priesthood that I currently hold most dear is the merciful and healing grace of Reconciliation.  I knew about St. John’s background, but his gift of confessor didn’t hit me til today.  I think that’s a good sign.

A cool fact about the property! … the exact geographical center of the property is the Tabernacle … just as the Eucharist is the center of our lives.  that’s the heart of everything! 

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