Dear Friends in Christ,
Several times each day—after the final blessing at Mass and during the Divine Office—the seminary community joins together and says, “Thanks Be to God.” After worshipping God, after hearing His Sacred Word, after receiving the Holy Eucharist, the Church’s liturgy places upon our lips this simple, but profound prayer: “Thanks Be to God.”
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I want to mention just a few of the things for which I am grateful. In no particular order:
I am grateful that at the beginning of this academic year, a family opened their home to the entire seminary community. We spent the day playing sports and games, praying, eating, and enjoying fraternity. The generosity of that family provided to us a memorable and joy-filled day.
I am grateful that Saint John’s Seminary is filled with seminarians and faculty from all over the world. What a beautiful gift it is to live in such an international community.
I am grateful for the beautiful liturgies and excellent preaching that are distinguishing characteristics of Saint John’s.
I am grateful for the vocation directors and bishops of our sending dioceses for entrusting us with their seminarians.
I am grateful for the fraternal love that exists at Saint John’s.
I am grateful that the Lord continues to raise up such talented, faithful, and generous young men to become His priests.
I am grateful for our benefactors who support Saint John’s, for those who serve on the various Boards of Saint John’s, and for those who daily pray for Saint John’s.
I am grateful that I am surrounded every day by priests and seminarians who strive to help one another grow in holiness.
I am grateful for all the parishes, prisons, campuses, hospitals, nursing facilities, and other institutions where our seminarians serve.
I am grateful for the dedicated work and example of our lay faculty and staff.
I am grateful that every day I am a first-hand witness of the Lord’s grace at work in our seminarians.
I am grateful for the priestly ministry of our alumni, a ministry that has eternal fruitfulness.
I am grateful for the Sacred Priesthood of Jesus Christ. I am grateful that Saint John’s continues to form men to be priests after the Heart of Christ, the Good Shepherd.
Every day, in this extraordinary place, God is doing beautiful and amazing things. He is doing these things so that people from all over the world—from Boston to Bangor, from Providence to Vietnam—will hear the Gospel and believe, will be baptized, will receive the Eucharist, will be absolved from sin, will receive the Last Sacraments before death, and will have priests who truly love them. For these things and for so much more, I ask you to join me in saying,
Thanks Be to God.
Fr. David Barnes