Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 23, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

Greetings once again from beautiful Detroit! This weekend I have exciting news to share – I, myself, and the 44 other priests studying here at Sacred Heart Major Seminary have survived Week Two! As I’ve shared with many of you, the summer semester is actually two semesters rolled into two sessions totaling five weeks. A typical semester has 15 weeks, which means that one week is equal to five weeks during the regular school year. We have four to six hours per day of courses with reading and writing filling in the rest of day. It’s an amazing group of priests that are here with me. There are some from Africa, India, Argentina, and Europe, with the majority serving dioceses here in the US. There are also various religious communities represented which include Franciscans, Legionaries of Christ, and Redemptorists as well as diocesan priests, who form the majority. It is a blessing to be here and I thank each of you for your prayers that this time of study be fruitful and enriching.

One of the important dimensions of this STL program is for priests to deepen not only our knowledge of Christ and the Catholic Tradition, but for us to encounter Him personally through daily prayer and community life. My hope is that all of us at St. Pius X are using these summer months to grow spiritually, to commit to a weekly Holy Hour, and to continue to make Sunday and when possible, daily Mass, a priority. Familiarize yourselves and use the amazing resources on the FORMED.org website in order to grow in your knowledge and appreciation of the richness of our Catholic Tradition, and be credible witnesses of our Catholic Christian Faith within our families and circle of friends and co-workers. St. John Paul II, the focus of so much of our study this summer, once said, “Sometimes even Catholics have lost or never had the chance to experience Christ personally – not Christ as a mere ‘paradigm’ or ‘value,’ but as the living Lord, ‘the way, and the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6) It is necessary to awaken again in believers a full relationship with Christ, mankind’s only Savior for only from a personal relationship with Jesus can an effective evangelization develop.” Let us all continue to commit ourselves to ever greater personal holiness and service to our parish community and all of our brothers and sisters that the Lord places in our lives.

Queridos Parroquianos,

Saludos desde Detroit! Tengo buenas noticias para compartir con ustedes; yo y los otros cuarenta y cuatro sacerdotes hemos sobrevivido la segunda semana de estudios! Este semestre de estudios son bien intensos y una semana aquí durante el verano es casi equal a cinco semanas durante una semestre normal durante el año académico. Casi todo el tiempo esta compuesto con horas de clases y tarea, estudiando la tradición profunda de nuestra Fe. Doy gracias a Dios por esta oportunidad para profundizar mi sacerdocio y mi conocimiento de nuestra Tradición Católica maravillosa. Te doy gracias también por sus oraciones que de verdad me sostengan.

Un parte importante de estas semanas de verano aquí en el seminario mayor, a pesar de los estudios, es el tiempo dedicado a profundizar nuestra fe personal con el Señor. Es para decir, este tiempo nos ofrezca una oportunidad profunda para re-dedicarnos a la lucha hacia la santidad. San Juan Pablo II una vez dijo; “La vocación del cristiano es la santidad, en todo momento de la vida. En la primavera de la juventud, en la plenitude del verano de la edad madura, y después también en el otoño y en el invierno de la vejez, y por último, en la hora de la muerte.” Ojalá que todos nosotros hagamos caso a esta invitación del Santo Padre y, por su puesto, nuestro Señor Jesucristo, para rededicarnos y nuestras familias a nuestra fe personal y comunitaria a ser los santos que el mundo necesita ahora, una raza de Dios en el mundo pero no del mundo.

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

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Author: Very Rev. Cal R. Christiansen

Fr. Cal R. Christiansen is Pastor of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

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