Priest Ordination Today

2007 Miami OrdinationToday, I was at the Cathedral for the ordination of 4 new priest to the Archdiocese of Miami.  It was AWESOME!  Since I’ve never been to one, I thought it would just be a long Mass with the Archbishop and lots of people that I’ve never met before.  Well, it was all of that, but way cooler!  The organ music, choir, 150+ priests, layout of the Mass, the applause, the families, the … EVERYTHING was a emotion-filled worship experience that can’t be put into words.  It was surreal.  I didn’t feel worthy to sit in the 5th pew (behind immediate family with other seminarians) to participate in such a celebration with all those priest and faithful united in the Eucharist.  I especially liked Archbishop’s homily and how each of the 150+ priest laid hands in prayer on each new priest followed by a hug.  It was powerful! 

Church history, #1 Pentecost

While awaiting “Lost” on ABC, I caught a bit on PBS on the Inquisition.  I realized that I didn’t know much about Church history, especially the bad stuff.  So I found The Story of the Church: Peak Moments from Pentecost to the Year 2000, a book we used in the 2-year lay ministry program I went through some years ago.  I wanted to review it (especially since I didn’t read it during the course) and started with peak #1, Pentecost.

Pentecost (50 days after Easter)After Pentecost, Peter reminds the crowd that Israel is to be the light of nations, that is, to be a missionary witness helping all people to know God, just like in the story of Jonah.  The Tower of Babel was human pride resulting in a breakdown in communication, separating people.  In Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit unified the people in mind and heart for God.  The day coincides with the Jewish feast of Shavuot.  As the old covenant was commemorated in Passover and completed on Mount Sinai with the 10 Commandments, so the new covenant begins with the Easter Triduum and ends with the coming of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost), the birth of the Church.

That alone should rally all Catholics to evangelize the world, but then I read this:

Only two percent of Catholics are willing to witness their faith to others and invite them to faith in Jesus and communion with the Church.  Contrast this with evangelical Protestant Christians, who are far more enthusiastic about sharing their faith.

That 2% may account for all priests and religious.  As if priests don’t have enough to do.  Lighting a fire under apathetic Catholics is what frustrates me about our faith, and a major reason I put off pursuing the priesthood.  I’ve got patience, but this requires a real revival.  I guess I just got tired of just complaining and want to be part of the solution.  So here I am.  “Send me!”  

Psychological Test Results

A head-mounted eye movement recording device was used for psychological tests (1962)Today I got the results of my psychological testing (part of my seminary application).  It involved a full battery of tests (2 full days of 7 types).  I was a bit excited to get the results, but not as excited as I know a few friends of mine are.  They’ve been waiting for empirical evidence of everything that’s wrong with me for years.  Well, he started by saying I did very well, so I think I passed.  — HA HA to all you haters!  🙂

The psychologist basically read my report out loud and answered questions about it.  I didn’t feel comfortable hearing him read back my interview responses (my blog must really sound bad to readers).  I forgot the names of most of the tests and can’t remember most of what he said, but I did manage to jot down 2 test results that I recognized.

My IQ test came out “above average” with 118.  Not to sound vane, but it sounded low.  I think it’s on a scale from 0 to 200 (with average being 100) and I have an engineering degree.  Well OK, getting a engineering degree and changing to pursue the priesthood sounds pretty dumb, but give me a break, I took the test at 8am and I’m not a morning person.  Then when he detailed my highs & lows I knew the test was flawed.  I was high in “vocabulary” and low was in “mental calculations & memory.”  That’s not right!  My memory may “blow,” but vocabulary is not my thing.  I was also high in “picture arrangement,” but low in “picture completion.”  What does that mean?  So, if the priesthood doesn’t work out, I can be a Feng shui designer that never finishes a job.  All in all, I guess I don’t have a learning disability and ADD, so if I flunk any classes, I’ve got nobody to blame but me.

The second test I remember was the Myers-Briggs personality test.  I came up as a ISFJ which is supposed to be the following:

ISFJ = Quiet, friendly, responsible, and conscientious. Work devotedly to meet their obligations. Lend stability to any project or group. Thorough and painstaking, accurate. Their interests are usually not technical. Can be patient with necessary details. Loyal, considerate, perceptive, concerned with how other people feel. Likely to put others needs above own and take responsibility seriously. Can be extremely uncomfortable with conflict or confrontation. 

It sounds like I’m a big “sucker” that everyone walks all over.  Then I found ISFJs, according to Keirsey, belong to the temperament of the Guardians and are called Protectors and that sounded a lot cooler. 

Guardians are observant and cooperative. Protectors, Inspectors, Supervisors, and Providers are the role variants contained within this category. Guardians seek membership or belonging and are concerned with responsibility and duty. Their greatest strength is logistical intelligence. They excel at organizing, facilitating, checking, and supporting. 

Some famous people who are “protectors” include Jimmy Stewart, Mother Teresa, J. P. Morgan, Tsar Nicholas II, & George H. W. Bush.

I guess knowing who myself better from a psychological view helps me to appreciate strengths and weaknesses to better balance everything.  As I write this blog, I wonder if I’m giving too much information about myself and being an even bigger “sucker.”  — Kermit?  Anyone?

Am I a seminarian yet?

I’m starting this blog a little premature. I don’t even know if I’m in yet, as a seminarian at St. John Vianney College Seminary. If I’m accepted, I would be entering as Pre-Theology since I already have a BS degree. Since the application process seemed to go pretty well, I pray for the best.

In February, I turned in the application and a 9 page autobiography (actually 12 pages, but I dropped the line spacing to not exceed the 8-10 page requirement — I’ll mention that at confession next time). After that, my 3 independent interviews with priests on the vocation panel seemed to go well. My only remaining concern was the results of the 3 days of psychological testing. If there was nothing wrong with me before the testing, I’m sure they’ll find some PTSD from the application process or maybe something I can’t even have, like Munchausen by Proxy (it just sounds cool). Those pictures I was asked to draw can’t mean anything good. 🙂

The committee met at the end of April and I’m just waiting to hear the results. Since the Archbishop came to do Confirmation at my parish last Saturday, I went hoping to introduce myself and get a hint, but that didn’t happen. I’d have a better chance to meet the President than to speak to Archbishop Favalora during a overflowing Confirmation Mass. (It’s these moments that I question my own judgement.)

WWKD ? … probably “Be patience (not so) young patowon.” — (“yeah, yeah, I know.”)

Catholic Kermit is born

As a 33 year old guy considering the priesthood, I wanted to blog my discernment to connect with others, especially seminarians, as I grow to better understand God’s will for me. 

I’ve grown up with Kermit the Frog (like most have), but I especially remember elementary school when Fr. Jerry (a ventriloquist) would do sermons at Mass with Kermit & Miss Piggy. He modeled a priesthood that I seek today. 

I use “Kermit” as a model for the priesthood for several reasons:Kermit nod

  • He wears a collar (visible)
  • He’s very reflective (prayerful)
  • He gives good advice (verbal)
  • He leads by example (does the right thing)
  • and he’s an overall great guy!

So as I blog, I want to ask W.W.K.D.? (what would Kermit do)

And hopefully some readers would answer with some “kibitz” 🙂

Categories: blogging