To Be, Or Not To Be: A Seminarian

A blog by the Diocese of Brooklyn

 

Countdown to Ordination: Day 90

Tomorrow starts the Gospel countdown to ordination. So, I suppose this is the countdown to the countdown.

I thought today to post a resource for those who want certain access on mobile devices:

There are plenty of Apps available with free versions of the Catholic Bible. But, in addition, as an easier way of getting through each chapter, some of the teens might appreciate an audio version to go along. You know, it’s tough getting through a long list of “begot, begot, begot” without some change in tone of voice.

So I’ve started to record an audio Bible version and will post the next chapter each day. If you miss a day; don’t give up. Just click play on your Zune, Winamp, or Ipod player and carry on.

Unfortunately most translations are still under copyright and I’m not allowed to record myself reading from those versions. There’s a old version called the Douay-Rheims. The English is a little old. So it kind of sounds like reading Shakespeare. But that’s alright. You’ll survive. Find a version on www.DRBO.org

I will post the mp3 files and short reflections on this blog. You can also check Facebook: “Pray for the Brooklyn Priests of 2014” for the same updates.

You can check there or on this page for updates.

Here’s the beginning: The Gospel according to St. Matthew: Chapter 1

 

Generals in the line of fire

Posted by on Dec 7, 2011 at 5:21 am | Recent News Tags: , , , , ,

The month of November has come and gone in a blur of responsibilities here at the parish of St. Clare. In all our prayer and work in parish ministry, it’s great to know that someone recognizes the fruit of that labor (even if he or she is wrong about its significance).

Last month I read an article rightly described by another blogger as a 3,000 word hit-piece against Catholic bishops and priests. Laura Bassett claims that bishops are super-powerful in the pro-life movement such that it calls the The Men behind the War on Women. Bassett is absolutely wrong about the enemy against which the Bishops fight. Bassett, however, is correct that a war is being waged. The war is truly against Satan and those he lures into a culture which allows an innocent child to be dispatched in her mother’s womb.

With the entire body of faithful Catholics as Christ’s army on earth (often called the Church militant) is lead by her bishops in obedience to Christ and his teachings. If the war against Satan is to be won, it is on account of the graced leadership of our bishops. Thanks be to God that even secular sources like the Huffington Post recognize how crucial the bishops are. Unfortunately such sources believe that the bishops stand as a group alone, a lobbying group with a particular religious slant.

With the bishops as our generals, priests as field commanders, and all the laity as loyal foot soldiers ready to do or die, however, the Church of Christ is more than particular group “hung up” on an out-dated cause. She is an unstoppable force (Mt 16:18) bent on saving as many as she can from the pain and sadness of sin, despair, death and Hell.

While we are on the front-lines everyday facing challenges from co-workers, friends, and even family who don’t understand or hate Christ and His Church, we are mindful to pray for our priests who instruct us and guide us to win their souls for Jesus (by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit). Let us also remember to pray for our bishops to whom our priests themselves look for instruction and guidance. On the feast of St. Nicholas, yesterday, so many of the faithful offered prayers, petitions, sacrifices, and Masses for the intentions of Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, our shepherd. Let us continue to intercede for his intentions (and of all bishops) for they intend nothing else than that most blessed desire of our Lord, the salvation of souls. May the blessed Mother, Mary, assist our efforts through her prayer for the sake of the glory of Jesus and the Church, His beloved.

 

Our Men Overseas

Deacon Gino Pattugalan

Deacon Joe Zwosta

On Thursday, October 6th, the feast of St. Bruno, two of our brothers: Gino Pattugalan and Joe Zwosta were ordained to the order of Deacon with 33 of their other brothers in the great St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Both study at the Pontifical North American College. William Cardinal Levada was the main celebrant.

On PNAC’s photostream over a thousand pictures of the Diaconate Week preparations and liturgies are available . Praised be Jesus Christ for the gift of two newly minted servants!

 

New Instituted Readers in Huntington!

Posted by on Mar 13, 2011 at 11:41 am | Recent News,Seminarians

From left to right: Msgr. Swiader (Vice-Rector), Chris Mirabal, Dave Atanasio, James Renna, Joe Scolaro, and Msgr. Vaccari (Rector).

On Friday, March 4th, four seminarians from the Diocese of Rockville Centre were instituted lectors by Bishop Frank Caggiano, Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn, in the chapel of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception. David Atanasio, Christopher Mirabal, James Renna, and Joseph Scolaro received the lectionary from the bishop as he instructed them to: “Take this book of Holy Scripture and be faithful in handing on the Word of God so that it may grow strong in the hearts of his people.” While the Ministry of Reader is not limited to those preparing for Holy Orders, it is considered one of the steps towards priesthood along with the Ministry of Acolyte and Candidacy. We pray in a special way for Dave, Chris, James, and Joe that as they begin to proclaim the Word of God in our community, and meditate on it more closely in private prayer, it will bear great fruit for them in their lives and on their journey towards the Sacred Priesthood. Congratulations, guys! We pray too for Robert Pierre-Louis, their Brooklyn classmate, who is already an instituted lector.

Bishop Caggiano preaching the homily during Holy Mass.

Candidates presenting themselves before the Bishop.

Joseph Scolaro recieving the Lectionary from Bishop Caggiano.

 

The Young and the Nervous: 1 of 2

Posted by on Oct 9, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Recent News,Seminarians

On Friday, October 1st: the feast of Therese the Child Jesus of the Holy Face, Virgin and Doctor of the Church, eleven of us from the Seminary had the honor of being installed as Acolytes in preparation for the priesthood.

Bishop Octavio Cisneros was the main celebrant. He began his beautiful homily saying “last year, during Easter week, I had the opportunity to celebrate Mass for over three hundred acolytes.”

I’m sure I’m not the only one who was present wondering “where on earth was he celebrating Mass for three hundred second-year theologians preparing for ordination.”

“It was altar server day at the Immaculate Conception Center,” he continued. And everyone laughed.

I was lost however in the sheer beauty of that statement and the many levels of its meaning. Much of the rest of his homily, quite frankly, went unappreciated by me because I kept forcusing on that image of the acolyte as another altar server.

You must understand that during the Mass, the acolyte is functionally an altar server. He brings the incense, vessels, and other necessities to the deacon or priest, assisting the celebration from the altar.

Outside of Mass, he has various dignities and duties such as to purify the sacred vessels and to bring our Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament to the sick and home-bound.

But besides what the acolyte does, other than his role functionally or ministerialyl , is the truth of who the acolyte is essentially. Rather, I should say, a prerequisite of what the acolyte does is who the acolyte is.

One aspect of the essence of the acolyte was recalled by Bishop Octavio: the acolyte’s childlike service at the altar. Many of the readers of this blog (certainly most of the men) will remember the fear and trembling with which they first served at the altar.

Remember the careful study of the handouts the priest gave to assure proper order in the sacristy. Remember trying to find one of the few cassocks with all its buttons. Remember the older altar servers pulling your surplice into proper form from the disheveled mess you made while vesting yourself. The veteran servers, eighth-graders maybe, watched–arms folded in sober approval of the third-grade candidates.

I can remember thinking about those early altar server jitters when I had no substantive understanding of the Mass other the clothing, posture, and cadence. How much I wanted, back then, only to do my job correctly!

I was thinking nearly the same , Friday morning,  because I was so nervous of the thought of dropping the paten or tripping over my alb.

Just before the Mass, the sacristy of my childhood reappeared when I saw some of the other men to be installed with me carefully praying over the readings for Mass. Some were spot-checking their crisp, white albs. Several older men were helping us make sense of the tricky loops and intricate ties one can make with his cinctures while others looked on with cool approval.

I pray this one aspect: the acolyte’s nervous, childlike anticipation will be a constant feeling in my heart and those of my brothers whenever we have to opportunity to serve the altar of God which is present in the hearts of our fellow men. Let our institution to the ministry prepare us further for those privileged moments in teaching or healing when it isn’t our posture, dress, or cadence that matters. Yet we will pray still to our Father, begging that we just do our jobs correctly.

 

Three New Acolytes from the Diocese of Brooklyn

Posted by on Mar 20, 2010 at 1:58 am | Recent News
 

     On Sunday, March 7th, 55 second year students were instituted Acolytes by Archbishop Thomas Rodi, Archbishop of Mobile, in the Immaculate Conception Chapel of the Pontifical North American College. Among them were three seminarians of the Diocese of Brooklyn: Stephen Giulietti, Giancarlo Pattugalan, and Joseph Zwosta.

     Each man presented himself before Archbishop Rodi, and while grasping the paten used for the celebration of the Eucharist, were instructed by the bishop, “Take this vessel of bread for the celebration of the Eucharist. Make your lives worthy of your service at the table of the Lord and of his Church.” The Institution of Acolyte while not exclusively reserved to those preparing for the priesthood is with Lector and Candidacy one of the key steps toward diaconate and priestly ordination.  These three men and their classmates now charged with serving at the Sacred Liturgy and bringing Holy Communionto the sick and the home-bound will now exercise their ministry both in the seminary, around the city of Rome, and this summer in their assigned parishes.  

     We congratulate Stephen, Gino, and Joe and pray that as they serve at the Altar of God they will be strengthened in their vocation to the priesthood and grow closer to the Lord.

 

 

 

Diaconate Ordination

Posted by on Dec 12, 2009 at 8:11 pm | Recent News
On December 8th, 2009, the Patronal Feast of our Diocese, the Immaculate Conception, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio ordained two men to the Diaconate. Alonzo Cox and Nixon Jean-Francois will have about 6 months of serving the church of Brooklyn as deacons until their ordination at the end of June 2010 to the priesthood.
The celebration was glorious, not because of the careful planning of liturgists or music directors, instead it re-echoed the joy of the Church that anytime the bishop ordains another seminarian, we thank God for His calling more faithful leaders to the Church. The excitement was present then and now as the diocese waits for June 26, 2010.  Deacon Michael Bruno, Deacon Alonzo Cox and Deacon Nixon Jean-Francois are anticipated to be ordained and the Diocese of Brooklyn, we pray, will have 3 new priests.
Many priests of the Diocese of Brooklyn were present to pray the Mass along with our Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, the ordaining bishop who was  joined by Bishop Octavio Cisneros and Bishop Guy Sansariq, Auxiliaries to the Bishop of Brooklyn. Many of the Vicars of the Diocese were also present along with the seminarians from both Cathedral Seminary Residence and the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception.
The NET, our diocesan TV station was on scene to report and filed the following story.

On December 8th, 2009, the Patronal Feast of our Diocese, the Immaculate Conception, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio ordained two men to the Diaconate. Alonzo Cox and Nixon Jean-Francois will have about 6 months of serving the church of Brooklyn as deacons until their ordination at the end of June 2010 to the priesthood.

The celebration was glorious, not because of the careful planning of liturgists or music directors, instead it re-echoed the joy of the Church that anytime the bishop ordains another seminarian, we thank God for His calling more faithful leaders to the Church. The excitement was present then and now as the diocese waits for June 26, 2010.  Deacon Michael Bruno, Deacon Alonzo Cox and Deacon Nixon Jean-Francois are anticipated to be ordained and the Diocese of Brooklyn, we pray, will have 3 new priests.

Many priests of the Diocese of Brooklyn were present to pray the Mass along with our Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, the ordaining bishop who was  joined by Bishop Octavio Cisneros and Bishop Guy Sansariq, Auxiliaries to the Bishop of Brooklyn. Many of the Vicars of the Diocese were also present along with the seminarians from both Cathedral Seminary Residence and the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception.

The NET, our diocesan TV station was on scene to report and filed the following story.

 

PREPARING FOR ADVENT WITH OUR SEMINARIANS

Posted by on Nov 29, 2009 at 8:43 am | Recent News

advent service

 

Brooklyn Seminarians become Acolytes

Posted by on Oct 7, 2009 at 10:27 am | Recent News

BrooklynPics

On Friday October 2, the Memorial of the Guardian Angels, Auxiliary Bishop Paul Walsh of the Diocese of Rockville Center instituted five seminarians for the Diocese of Brooklyn as Acolytes of the Church.  The Mass took place in the Main Chapel of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington Long Island.
The Institution of Acolyte is one of the two formal ministries that men preparing for The Sacrament for Holy Orders receive.  The Acolyte is appointed in order to aid the deacon and to minister to the priest.  It is his duty therefore to attend to the service of the altar and to assist the deacon and the priest in liturgical celebrations, especially in the celebration of Mass; he is also to distribute Holy Communion as a special minister, and he may bring Holy Communion to the sick.
We congratulate the newly instituted acolytes, and we pray for them as they continue on the journey to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ.  From left to right in the photo are: Jason Grisafi (Rockville Centre), Dwayne Davis (Brooklyn), Jaeyoung Pascal Chio (Daaejeon, Korea), Sun-Joong John Kwon (Daaejeon, Korea), Auxiliary Bishop Paul Walsh , Brandon O’Brien (Rockville Centre), Steven George (Brooklyn), Paul Kim (Brooklyn), Nixon Jean-Francios (Brooklyn), Raymond Flores (Brooklyn), and  Rev. Msgr. Peter I. Vaccari ,Rector of the Seminary and a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

On Friday October 2, the Memorial of the Guardian Angels, Auxiliary Bishop Paul Walsh of the Diocese of Rockville Center instituted five seminarians for the Diocese of Brooklyn as Acolytes of the Church.  The Mass took place in the Main Chapel of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington Long Island.

The Institution of Acolyte is one of the two formal ministries that men preparing for The Sacrament for Holy Orders receive.  The Acolyte is appointed in order to aid the deacon and to minister to the priest.  It is his duty therefore to attend to the service of the altar and to assist the deacon and the priest in liturgical celebrations, especially in the celebration of Mass; he is also to distribute Holy Communion as a special minister, and he may bring Holy Communion to the sick.

We congratulate the newly instituted acolytes, and we pray for them as they continue on the journey to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ.  From left to right in the photo are: Jason Grisafi (Rockville Centre), Dwayne Davis (Brooklyn), Jaeyoung Pascal Chio (Daaejeon, Korea), Sun-Joong John Kwon (Daaejeon, Korea), Auxiliary Bishop Paul Walsh , Brandon O’Brien (Rockville Centre), Steven George (Brooklyn), Paul Kim (Brooklyn), Nixon Jean-Francios (Brooklyn), Raymond Flores (Brooklyn), and  Rev. Msgr. Peter I. Vaccari ,Rector of the Seminary and a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

 

And away we go…

Posted by on Sep 9, 2009 at 7:52 am | Recent News

For the first time in our Diocese’s history, we have a BLOG. During the course of the year, five seminarians and one transitional deacon have agreed to share with us aspects of their life in real-time. It is our hope that you will be able to walk with them as they discern their call to the priesthood and follow them from their perspective seminaries (Rome, Washington, Douglaston, NY and Huntington, NY). And of course, there is always room for comments!

Let us get to know our Diocesan Bloggers…

 

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