I apologize to all of you who have been coming to the blog daily, only to find no new entries since last week. We're getting ready for Confirmations here in the parish, my Monday night adult ed class and the Thursday night RCIA class are in full swing, and this past Tuesday and Wednesday I was back at my old seminary, Mount Saint Mary's in Emmitsburg, Maryland, for the annual Priests' alumni Mass and dinner. Add to it my preparations for a trip to Rome I'm taking next week, and you see how I'm a bit frazzled.
Let me talk about the homecoming for a while. There's something about going back to the seminary that I love. No, it's not the fact that I don't have any papers to write or that the faculty can no longer affect my future. It truly recharges my spiritual batteries each time I walk back into the building. The bells tolling every quarter hour, the smell of the seminary chapel (a good smell that comes from layers and layers of incense and candle wax), even the hallways and my class' graduation picture hanging on the wall, all make it special.
Each year the homecoming is the same. A Mass on Tuesday night in the college's chapel, this year celebrated by Bishop William Lori of the Diocese of Bridgeport, CT (seminary class of 1977). The seminary schola was excellent, chanting the Ecce Sacerdos Magnus as the Bishop processed into the chapel. His homily on the guardian angels (the Mass was on their feast day) was a mix of humor and catechesis from the Church Fathers. The full choir loft and the full chapel and the benches in the sanctuary full with seminarians serving the Mass tell me that the Mount continues to do well when it comes to enrollment. Following Mass we had a great dinner, during which I sat with the alumni from the class of 1987. As I approach my 10th anniversary, it was great to sit with men who were in their tenth year of ordination when I was ordained to the Priesthood.
It was a refreshing time, and each year I come home thinking the same thing: I really should visit out there more often!