“By study, we love God with our whole minds.” -Sr. Catherine Clarke, MICM
I entered the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program four years ago, for my own spiritual life as a religious, and also to benefit the apostolic works of my community. I sensed a need for further study of Christ and His Church, Holy Scripture and doctrine, in the systematic way that the MTS program provides. These studies have led me to a deeper knowledge of God’s mysteries, have increased the clarity with which I teach, and also have aided my understanding of men and women today who do not yet know that the joy and hope they are seeking is Christ.
This program is especially ordered toward the New Evangelization—drawing souls to Christ in the Church through the Sacraments by presenting the saving mysteries in a language appealing and understandable to those living now. We studied the faith, yes, but also we had colloquium seminars about the human person, to discover the gap between the wealth that is Christ and the Sacraments, and the sadness of the soul who has not yet received Him.
I think each of us graduates sensed Our Lord’s call to serve Him according to our capacity, but also beyond our capacity—so we knew we needed further formation. We hope we have been transformed by encountering Christ in our studies, and we hope that as our knowledge has grown, so have our love of Christ and our zeal for souls.
One classmate said our classes gave her better understanding of her faith and the words to speak it. As we graduate, continue our studies, and share the work of the Church, gaining words to express Christ is a Mary-like activity, a new iteration of the Incarnation. Mary gave us Christ, the Word of the Father, in a language we could understand—as an Infant loved in the arms of His Mother. Christ’s work of salvation began at the moment when He received Mary as His Mother, and became flesh. The Apostles’ share in Christ’s work began when they, too, received Mary as their Mother—at the foot of the Cross.
Our Lord surely arranged that we graduate in May, Mary’s month, and so near the Feast of Pentecost. He gives us the same best help that He gave the Apostles as they entered His work for souls: His Holy Spirit and His Mother. Staying close to Our Lady, through whom Christ began, accomplished and continues His work of redemption, will ensure that we persevere in the work He gives each of us graduates, each of us Christians, to do—to grow closer to Him ourselves, and through our works of evangelization to draw others to that same joy.
By: Sister Louise Marie Turner, MICM
Master of Theological Studies
Class of 2022
About the Seminary: Founded in 1884, New England’s oldest Major Seminary, Saint John’s Seminary serves Catholic communities across the New England region and beyond by educating and training men to be Catholic priests and by providing a graduate education in Catholic Theology to laity, deacons, and professed religious who serve the Church in a variety of different ministries.