Thursday, September 14, 2006

My Letter to the Archbishop

I am in the middle of a crucial portion of my discernment. Just this morning, I had to write a letter to the Archbishop of Seattle, petitioning him to admit me to Candidacy for Orders. Up until now my status as a seminarian has been informal. Its about to become formal, should the Archbishop accept my petition.

Candidacy is done at different times, depending on the seminary and Diocese. Some of the Africans here recieved their candidacy at the end of College. Most seminaries in the US do it during third year, just prior to Diaconate ordinations. My seminary does them in first year, prior to the ministries of Reader and Acolyte. There isn't a right way to do it, but I kind of like the way my seminary does it, because it really is an important step and it makes sense to do them prior to the ministries. There are parts of the petition that relate to fostering the vocation, which is good to reinforce early, I think.

One interesting thing is that I cannot type the letter. It has to be written out by hand. This serves a practical purpose of making sure we understand exactly what we are asking for.

Here is the full text of the letter:

Dear Archbishop Brunett,

In accordance with the Motu Proprio of Pope Paul VI Ad Pascendum of August 15, 1972, I hereby submit my petition to be admitted to Candidacy for the Orders of Diaconate and Priesthood.

I recognize that this admission to Candidacy for Orders does not carry with it any of the duties, rights, or privileges of clerics. I realize, however, that in virtue of your acceptance of me as a candidate for the Orders of Diaconate and Priesthood I must care for my vocation and foster it. I also understand that I acquire the right to the necessary spiritual assistance by which I can develop my vocation and embrace God's will in my regard.

In presenting this petition I solemnly declare that I am actuated by no motive of fear, either physical or moral, and that I am in no way coerced by parent, relative, or any other person. I also declare that I am making this request of my own free will, and that I am motivated by a desire to serve God and his people through ordained ministry.

I respectfully ask for your blessing.


So thats my petition. If the Archbishop accepts it, then in a couple of weeks the seminary rector will stand up after Mass and announce whether or not we have been called. It will be a little nerveracking to see if anyone doesn't make it (which at this point will usually be their own decision to leave). I can't imagine anyone would leave, but it happened last year to a guy I thought for sure would make it to ordination. Once we are called, we will be formally admitted in the seminary chapel in October.

Please pray for me and my classmates during this crucial time of our discernment.

1 comment:

Val said...

That's so awesome. Prayers will definately be in order. :)