An Evangelical Pastor Visits a Catholic Seminary

This could be an add from a diocesan vocations department! H/T New Advent.

My brother is a Roman Catholic seminarian, and I visited him at Mount Saint Marys Seminary the last couple days to see him installed in his second-to-last office (acolyte) before hopefully being ordained a priest (in about two years). I’ve been hoping to visit John for a long time, and finally got the opportunity.

My Evangelical brothers and sisters typically misunderstand and mischaracterize the Catholic Church, its leaders and theology and practices, so I felt compelled to write this to them, an “open letter” if you will.

First off, much of what Evangelicals believe about Catholicism, what they believe and who they are, is flat out incorrect. I will not dedicate any space here to that, except to say that people don’t listen to each other all that well in the 21st century, even though it’s easier than ever, technologically, to do. We should all try harder.

So let me tell you what I found among the more than 150 seminarians I spent a couple days with.

I found men who love Jesus with a passion and wholeness that I find rare among Christians of any stripe in these days.

I found men who struggle with the same kinds of things that we all do, regular guys who are dealing with what we all deal with… with the amazing support of Christ, of their brothers, and of the church.

I found men who can chuck a frisbee way farther than I ever will be able to.

I found a place where worship is very deep, even sublime, and regular and intentional and heartfelt… and amazing, and where prayer is an intentionally regular and essential and practiced part of every day. I found that Jesus was palpably present in every room and hallway.

I ate one of the tastiest meals I’ve had in forever.

I found generosity that is inspiring.

I found a group of guys that, when it’s time to have fun… have some serious fun.

I found real intelligence, insight and wisdom being leveraged for the kingdom of Heaven. Almost any of these guys could probably lead, and lead well, in any secular company and probably make a lot of money.

I found the presence of Christ in community that I was, frankly, a little envious of.

I found a love of Christ’s body on earth that you don’t find very often anywhere.  Continue reading….

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
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