As I said above, this year is one that is bittersweet and is full of “lasts” and it is the “lasts” which serve as a springboard for reflecting on memories of my time in the seminary. Many of the memories are of various in-house shows, plays, lectures, various pranks on each other (yes, shocking as it may seem seminarians, including myself, play pranks on each other), spiritual moments with great homilies from priests and visiting bishops, and various trips and pilgrimages provided by the seminary. These memories serve as a reminder of the special service of the seminary in my vocational journey. They also bring forth the sweetest part of the end of this year, when I look forward to the Bishop calling me to Orders to be ordained a priest for our diocese. For now as I live this year making new memories at Infant Jesus Parish and handling classes and classwork, I continue to follow the Bishop’s instruction to me at my ordination, “Enjoy your diaconate year!”
Wow, it has come: my last year in the seminary. I am now a deacon and soon will no longer be considered “a seminarian forever.” Those discerning a vocation to the priesthood may wonder, “what is the last year seminary like for a newly ordained transitional deacon?” Depending on the deacon, it could or could not be a challenging or bittersweet year. For me it is a combination of both the challenge to balance studies and ministry in the parish. Yet, the blessings outweigh the difficulties and challenges. As I learned a summer ago at Summer in the City, the struggles offered up to God bring much joy.