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Seminarians called to bring God’s Word, truth and love to others

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Bishop Michael F. Burbidge celebrated a Mass of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders for six seminarians at St. Agnes Church in Arlington July 28. 

“Our candidates and all our seminarians are preparing to be priests and the faithful of this diocese are continually praying for them. However, it is essential for our seminarians to remember that God’s holy people are not necessarily waiting for you. It is the Lord they need and desire,” Bishop Burbidge said in his homily. “Thus, you will never be sent forth in your own name —but always in the holy name of the Lord our God. It is his Word, his truth, his love that you are called to bring to others.”

The Mass of Admission for Candidacy is held after seminarians finish their philosophical studies (after two years or four years depending on if they graduated college) and as they enter into theological studies. Candidacy is the formal recognition by the church that a seminarian has reached “a maturity, joy and serenity in your discernment that coincides with the beginning of the study of theology," according to Fr. Michael C. Isenberg, director of the Office of Vocations. 

The candidates are: Tony Bennett, Zinjin Iglesia, Joseph Flaherty, Andrew Clark, Luke Poczatek and Charles Wilton. 

Another Mass of Admission to Candidacy was held at St. Ann Church in Arlington for seminarians Mike Lewis, Mike Nugent and Tim Courtney in June.

In his homily, Bishop Burbidge advised the candidates to make their spiritual lives their highest priority. He told them to root their spiritual life in consistent and fervent prayer; nourish it by mediation upon the Scriptures; and sustain it in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist.

“The one constant in your life must be your daily holy hour,” he added. “If it is, everything else will follow and work out and you will know the peace and serenity only Christ can give. Dear friends in Christ, may the Eucharist be for us the source and summit of our lives.”  

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019