Often, those of us who work with seminarians take for granted that everyone understands what the seminary really is. Most people, even very devout Catholics, have an incomplete understanding of the seminary. That is why it is so important that, if you are interested in entering St. Mark Seminary, you should call Fr. Steve Schreiber, and set up a tour of the Seminary.
Seminary is not a convent or a monastery. Yes, it is a place of community living. Yes, it is structured by rules and regulations for the daily life of the house. Yes, there is daily Mass. Yes, the seminarians pray the Liturgy of the Hours in common in the morning and evening on most days. There are conferences and talks. There is even choir practice! But it is not a religious order house. It is not a permanent foundation.
The word seminary is taken from a Latin word which translates as “seed”. Seminary is a seedbed for decision making and growth in Christian holiness. It is a temporary place – you aren’t meant to stay there forever. It is a place where young men (and men not so young sometimes) go to plant their seed of faith for a time. They plant the seed of faith in the fertile soil of St. Mark Seminary, and see what happens. The faculty are like farmers who tend the seed as it grows, and help decide what to do with the emerging faith life of the seminarian. Sometimes, the seed grows where it has been planted, into a strong, priestly tree. Often times, the plant is “transplanted” to other ground, to grow into a family tree, or a committed life as a single person.
Over the last 9+ years since my entry into St. Mark’s, I have seen friends grow into priests, and also into married men who love the Church, their wives, and their children. None are worse for the experience of the seminary. We all grew up from the same fertile soil. Each of you have the seed of faith in your hands! Sow your seed in fertile ground, so that it might die, and bear much fruit! If you are interested in visiting the seminary, please call e-mail either myself or Fr. Schreiber. You can find our e-mail addresses on the vocations website. God bless!