Greetings from the cloister! I had hoped to make this post about the ice storm but, alas, the machine to develop film at our local Walmart is in need of repair…God-willing, I’ll bring you that story next week. Please do continue to pray for those 20,000 plus in Kentucky still without power, some of whom are our very neighbors. Thank God today it is a warm 55 degrees.
In the meantime I thought you would enjoy reading about our annual Christmas visit with our Owensboro seminarians and candidates. Postulant Shannon wrote this article for our diocesan newspaper. She’s kinda got a knack for writing…I know you’ll like it.
From the Cloister: Seminarians Make Annual Visit to Passionist Monastery
We knew their names. We knew their faces. We lift them up in prayer everyday. But as for the Passionist formation sisters (Postulants, to be precise), neither Sharon Miller nor myself had ever had the privilege of meeting any of our Dioceses’ seminarians face to face.
We along with all of the Passionist Nuns were anticipating our official visit with the seminarians, along with their director, Fr. Andy Garner, which would take place on the last night of their annual three-day retreat here at St. Joseph Monastery. What a joy and blessing it was to finally have the opportunity to meet and greet the young men who are constantly in our prayers as they continue on their individual journeys toward their final ordinations!
A doorbell sounded through the monastery corridors announcing their arrival on December 20. However, most of the sisters (Sharon and I included) would have to wait until two days later before saying our hellos.
Until then, we reveled in their strong and encouraging presence on the public side of our chapel during our daily celebration of the Holy Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours. The sound of their voices chanting with ours from across the water channel which divided us was a real experience of the unique unity that exists between the prayer of priests and religious (whether ordained, professed, or discerning). I had to pause several times as we chanted the Liturgy of the Hours together in order to savor this awesome reality. It was the sound of Christ’s life and prayer animating and unifying the Catholic Church through His Holy Spirit alive in all of her members!
We were blessed to be able to hear homilies at Mass given by newly ordained Deacons, Daniel Dillard and Josh McCarty. There was a sense of pride and delight ineshared amongst the sisters in witnessing the fruit of the graces at work in their lives as they complete the final stages of formation. We were happy to have the opportunity to give them our congratulations in person, feeling that we had already celebrated and been present with them spiritually through prayer.
Our official visit with the seminarians was a blast! The room was filled with joy, laughter, and smiling faces. We so enjoyed this brief but bright window into the characters and gifts of each of the young men we were introduced to. Particularly memorable were the comical stories they shared with us about their experiences in the seminary— one involving an unfortunate misunderstanding about a dreaded “pink slip.” It was truly a pleasure to meet each of them and witness the real sense of friendship and brotherhood, which they seem to share amongst themselves.
We left our visit with smiles, a handful of handshakes, mutual promises of remembrance in prayer, and gratitude for our God’s gift of vocation. I am certain that I speak for all of our Passionist sisters in expressing my own joy and gratitude: How encouraging and exciting to see such a large and lively group of young men seeking to give their loving ALL to God and His Church!
Mother Catherine Marie catches Deacon Josh McCarty
taking their photo
PHOTOS: Rev. Mr. Joshua McCarty