As we all continue carrying on the directives given to us as a country trying to fight off this invisible enemy, COVID-19, I take this opportunity to let you know how the seminarians are doing. Below is a reflection from Jacob Ramos, who is finishing his second year of theology and next year is looking forward to his possible diaconate ordination, on his way to Holy Priesthood.
Each of the eight seminarians from Mount St. Mary Seminary were sent home to continue their semester classes remotely. Six are working directly from home and both Dharen and Ruben are each living at a parish in the diocese doing their remote classes also. All of them are healthy.
Our third-year candidate for Diaconate Ordination, Larry Barile, along with all the students at Pope St. John XXIII have been quarantined at the seminary, continuing their classes there. For the purpose of assisting in this trying time, the seminary decided to have their third-year theologians be ordained together if permission from their home bishop was granted. Bishop Cote agreed so on April 15, Larry was ordained by Bishop Hennessy of the Boston Archdiocese as a Transitional Deacon and will be looking forward to next summer when he can be called to priestly ordination by Bishop Cote. Please keep all the seminarians in your prayers and know that they all have us in their prayers as well.
-- Father Gregory Galvin, Director of Priestly Vocations
Seminarian Reflection by Jacob Ramos
Being a seminarian for the diocese is an incredible journey filled with wonder and joy. I am originally from Meriden, where I grew up with my parents and older brother. While attending the University of Connecticut for an undergraduate degree, I felt the Lord planted the seeds of priestly service in my heart and gave me spiritual roots in the Diocese of Norwich. Living in a vibrant student community of peers seeking after Christ and a life of happiness and holiness was the community that helped me hear the Lord’s call. I was excited to see where Christ was leading me.
After graduation I tested the call to religious life with the Dominican Order. It was there that my prayer life grew and a great deepening of my relationship with Jesus happened during my Novitiate year. During that time the Lord made clear He was calling me toward a priestly vocation, not in a religious order, in the Diocese of Norwich.
In the fall of 2016 I began attending Mount St Mary’s Seminary as a seminarian of Norwich. This spring I am completing my second year of theology and with God’s grace and the Church’s approval I will be ordained a Priest of Jesus Christ in the summer of 2022.
My time so far at the seminary has been a complete blessing and gift. I attend amazing classes with professors who are experts in their fields. The presence of a holy priestly faculty at the seminary gives us seminarians a clear example of a life of holiness and selfless service, in the image of Christ. I am challenged in my classes and am amazed by the depth of knowledge and wisdom offered to us all by the Holy Mother Church.
One of the best aspects of the life of a seminarian is growing in discipleship with Jesus among such a great group of brother seminarians. I have made great friends with other men who are also being called by the Lord to serve His holy people as priests. Being with the other seminarians in prayer, liturgy, class, study, sports and recreation are all opportunities for me to see the bright future of the priesthood in our diocese and in our country.