Through Brad Watkins, comes the report from Archbishop O'Brien of Baltimore and the Pontifical North American College.
Another impressive and, indeed, inspiring hallmark of today’s seminarians, in Rome and in our own distinguished St. Mary’s Seminary in Roland Park and Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, is a return to a Eucharistic-centered spirituality. At NAC, all are “on deck” at 6:15 a.m. for morning prayer and 6:30 a.m. community Mass before walking a typical 25 minutes to classes across town. Come evening, one would have to be impressed by the numbers in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament during the voluntary holy hour of exposition. Many seminarians volunteer the fact that they discovered their vocation through devotion to the Blessed Sacrament in parishes where Eucharistic adoration was regularly scheduled with special prayers for vocations.Nationally, I am told that there are dioceses such as Wichita, where an abundance of priestly vocations can be traced to diocesan-wide Eucharistic adoration. Nor do I think it a coincidence that the three parishes in our Archdiocese with the most success at present in “growing” seminarians for Baltimore all offer parishioners opportunities for Eucharistic adoration outside of Mass:St. Louis, Clarksville – 4 seminariansSt. John, Westminster – 3 seminarians, 2 applyingSt. Peter the Apostle, Libertytown – 2 seminarians, 1 applyingThese three parishes provide half of our homegrown seminarians. They have taken seriously the Lord’s solution for great harvests, but too few laborers: “Pray the harvest-master to send laborers into his harvest.”We are blessed, indeed, to have many deacons, religious, and laypeople working the harvest. But without the priest, there is no Eucharist. Without the Eucharist, there is no Church.How fitting, how necessary, to turn to the Eucharist in our prayer for priests.
Brad has gone on a tear reporting stories over the weekend, his site is found here.