Sunday Reflection: Fr. Ryan Connors, Director of Sacred Liturgy | 10/31/2021
This week Saint John’s Seminary welcomed back members of the Class of 2021. New priests serving in Providence, Rochester, Manchester, and Boston returned to the seminary for Mass and recognition of their priestly ordinations. What a blessing it was to see them thriving in their priestly ministry.
Upon their return the new priests shared stories of their work. We learned that preaching the Word of God leads people out of sin and into the new light of God’s grace. After all, only the truth sets free.
We learned that celebrating the Sacraments brings consolation. Only the Sacraments of the Church efficaciously confer grace to create, strengthen, and restore God’s friendship. Catholic priests spend their lives conferring the Sacraments of salvation.
We learned that leading God’s people in charity can be challenging work. But the Catholic people love their priests and see in them those configured to Christ, Head, Shepherd, and Bridegroom of the Church.
The newest priests of New England and beyond remind us that God keeps calling shepherds after His own heart. New priests recall for us why the seminary exists. The work of Saint John’s is to form priests after the heart of Christ, to teach, sanctify, and govern God’s holy people in charity. No Christian community flourishes without many and holy priestly vocations.
That is why we are so grateful for the generous support of benefactors near and far. Those who spiritually and materially support the mission of Saint John’s Seminary ensure that many future generations will receive courageous pastors for God’s holy people.
Keep praying for our newest alumni priests. They remain grateful for the formation they received during their time at Saint John’s. It was a joy to have them back, but, of course, they couldn’t stay for long. They are now back to work tilling the Lord’s vineyard, ensuring that everybody, in every walk of life, hears the joy of the Gospel—the earth-shattering news that we can meet Christ in His Church.