It’s National Vocation Awareness Week and we wanted to touch base with some of our seminarians.
Deacon Kevin Miller shared with us a little about his last of two semesters before Ordination and also his summer assignment in Carbondale:
In my final two semesters at Pope John Seminary in Massachusetts, I return daily to the best advice I ever received regarding seminary formation, the words of Father Don Williams, Vocations Director for the Diocese of Scranton: ‘ultimately seminary is about one thing—growing as close as you can to the Lord.’ As baptized Catholics, we each do that daily as well in heart, mind, body and soul. To that end, I continue studies in Spanish, and find myself growing more comfortable in the language and culture with each passing class. I still can’t speak fluently, but my reading and writing has improved noticeably, much to my surprise and delight. In addition to the three core classes on the Writings of St John the Evangelist, Canon Law of Marriage, and Theology of the Eucharist, I have two electives which, also to my surprise and delight, enhance each other in so many ways: the Theology of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI and the Theology of John Henry Newman, two men who I believe will both be Doctors of the Church someday. Most interestingly, I’ve learned what a great influence St. John Henry Newman (canonized 13 October 2019 none the less!) was on Pope Emeritus Benedict. There are no coincidences in life, only the fingerprints of God, who apparently delights in surprises as much as I do!
I had a tremendous experience of ministry with the wonderful people of St Rose of Lima and Our Lady of Mount Carmel parishes in Carbondale this past summer. The experience is one that is beyond mere words to fully express what it meant to me. That experience continues here in the Archdiocese of Boston with my weekend assignment to St Catherine of Siena parish in Norwood (one of my favorite saints, as well as one of the four women saints named Doctors of the Church. Can you name the other three? No cheating with Google). The towering faith and steadfast support of the clergy and parishioners here bolster my resolve and daily commitment to serve the Lord and His Church as a priest with everything God has given me to do so. I just hope and pray each day to be the kind of priest, Lord willing, worthy of their example of faith and love of the Lord, and I ask your prayers, as well as for my counterparts, as we continue on the journey to the priesthood.
Deacon Kevin Miller
Seminarian, Diocese of Scranton