Seminary: A Day In The Life

Author: David Donaghue

Picture: Wikimedia Commons

Seminary: A Day In The Life

Facing your own weaknesses and street evangelising are all part of seminary life, says David Donaghue.

‘A day in the life’ articles can often end up as a schedule run through, so I decided to give an insight into the unique opportunities and graces that each day at seminary brings.

I joined seminary age 29, having worked for the previous ten years in mental healthcare.

After a ‘re-version’ back to my childhood faith in my early twenties, I had a deep desire to give my all to God.

I had a thousand questions about the Catholic faith and the answers I began to find made sense, especially in light of my former party lifestyle.

True Love

I was looking for credibility, and in the deepest areas of love and marriage, I was blessed to discover St John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.

I discovered that love is not just dependent on feeling good or what I can gain, but true love is a decision and a gift of yourself  to the other.

I realised  marriage and priesthood were not too far apart and the idea of living as a celibate priest, oddly to me, became massively attractive. Fast forward ten years, I am now finishing my fifth year at St Mary’s College, Oscott, and I am due to be ordained to the diaconate in June 2018.

This year we study important courses such as the Eucharist, St Paul’s letters, Wisdom literature, creation, social morality and history of the priesthood.

These courses excite me and it is such a privilege to have expert tutors delivering this teaching.

There is a great desire to develop our knowledge not as an end in itself, but to be able to form the laity and make disciples. 

Letting Go of Control

I have grown as a human being whilst at seminary. Having faced my own weaknesses and realised how far short I fall in light of Jesus, I have been forced me to let go of control and bring myself to His feet.

Basically, seminary humbles us. We pray the prayer of the Church as a community every morning. We invest time and effort into the best expression of liturgy we can.

Exploring the treasures of Gregorian chant and devotions, we are able to give God worship and lift our hearts and minds to heaven. We try to pray in all things, especially with each other.

Charismatic prayer has given me a new found freedom. We have a small chapel in the woods called ‘St Teresa’s’. It is a real treat to light up the wood burner in there, to lift up our praises to God and intercede for one another.

Proclaiming the Life of Jesus

We always enjoy street evangelising when we have the chance.

On Good Friday this year, we found the busiest street in Birmingham and praised God with songs. We interacted with the public, prayed with people and proclaimed the life of Jesus.

Mary is dear to us at seminary. She is the patroness of the college. Each man here has a unique love for her. In that paradoxical way, the closer we draw to her, the closer we are to Jesus.

Through devotion to Mary, I have a burning love for Jesus and she fades to the background. This is her maternal role. Just as St John laid his head on the Lord, we seek to do this too.

All our strength and inspiration comes from Jesus, and seminary gives us the space and time to grow in friendship and love with Him. We can then be instruments in His hands for the building up of God’s Kingdom.

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