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Thursday, January 17, 2013

YEAR OF FAITH: SOLT Seminarians Imitate Our Lady on a Pilgrimage of Faith

On October 11, 2012, the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II and the 20th anniversary of the publishing of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the much anticipated Year of Faith began in the Church, as declared by Pope Benedict XVI. It was at Vatican II, specifically in the document Lumen Gentium, that the Council Fathers explicitly pointed to the Blessed Virgin Mary as being the “pre- eminent and singular member of the Church...and excellent exemplar in faith and charity.” In her pilgrimage of faith, Mary completely trusted in the Lord and adhered to His divine plan from the moment of the Annunciation, to the foot of the cross, at Pentecost and finally in her Assumption. Mary models for us perfectly what it means to live by faith.

When I survey the seminarians here in the SOLT house of studies in Detroit, I see men who certainly resemble pilgrims. Like pilgrims, they began their journey from a variety of different starting points. In fact, our fifteen seminarians originate from eight different countries—Belize, Canada, the Cayman Islands, England, Ireland, Mexico, the Philippines and the United States. Furthermore, like true pilgrims, their journey is motivated entirely by faith and their generous response to God’s invitation to follow Him more closely. After all, it certainly was not the beauty and charm of the Motor City that drew them to Detroit! Most importantly, they are men who continually strive to imitate our Blessed Mother Mary in their pilgrimage of faith. They have encountered delays, challenges, uncertainty and detours along the way, but have persevered in their journey of faith.

For seven of our seminarians, their pilgrimage of faith is moving toward yet another significant moment as they are approaching possible ordination to the diaconate next summer. Please pray for all of our seminarians, but especially for the seven candidates to Holy Orders, that they would achieve clarity in the final stages of their seminary journey, and that they would be well prepared to serve the People of God in ordained ministry.

Fr. Peter Marsalek, Rector
SOLT House of Studies at
Sacred Heart Seminary
Detroit Michigan