As many were beginning to prepare for the Thanksgiving break or even look ahead to Christmas shopping and the busyness of the final weeks of the semester, the Mount community held its annual Fall Day of Renewal November 16 and 17. The Day of Renewal, a one day retreat, comes at a time in the semester when many seminarians are feeling the pinch of the end of the semester, and it serves as an opportunity for the men to refocus their attention on divine matters and boost their spiritual life before heading into one of the most rigorous stretches of the academic year. This year the Day of Renewal was preached by the vocation director from Washington DC, Father Carter Griffin. Father Griffin, who also serves as the vice-rector of the Blessed John Paul II College Seminary in Washington, preached a conference on Thursday evening before offering two more conferences in Immaculate Conception Chapel on Friday morning and afternoon. There was unanimous acclaim for Fr. Griffin’s ability to relate to seminarians and offer a needed boost to encourage the men in formation to fully dedicate themselves to God and the service of His people. Following the final conference on Friday afternoon, the Day of Renewal concluded with the Mass for Candidacy described below.
On Mary’s Mountain
Thirteen seminarians in the 3rd Theology class received candidacy in a November 16 Mass celebrated by Washington, DC’s Auxiliary Bishop, Barry C. Knestout. The admission to candidacy rite offers the candidates for ordination the opportunity to publicly express their intention to receive ordination as a deacon and later as a priest. Before the ceremony, the seminarians composed letters to their respective bishops, petitioning to be received as a candidate for sacred orders. In receiving candidacy, the seminarian acknowledges that he must care for his vocation in a renewed way, both in prayer and study. Further, he acknowledges he is making this petition of his own free will. The bishop receives the seminarian on behalf of the Church. A number of family and friends attended the ceremony and joined the entire Mount community in congratulating these men who will be ordained in just a few short months.