June 17, 2016

Letters to the Editor

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Seminary experience offered great lessons about spiritual life and prayer

“A tip of the hat to former seminarians and their vocations.” I thought I’d never hear or read that!

Kudos to Bill Dodds for his “Your Family” column in the June 3 issue of The Criterion.

I entered a missionary order in 1969. I did not experience the “minor seminary.” I experienced a “confused seminary.”

Discipline seemed irrelevant. Of my class of 22, 11 were gone after novitiate. Only one fellow was ordained a priest. I left with this explanation: something about “immaturity.” I think the immaturity was the post-Vatican II “structure.”

Thanks to God, so much has improved and we have quality seminarians today. I agree with Dodds that, of those who have “walked the seminary trail for a time, some truly are dedicated laymen who serve the Church and society in many, many ways.”

I also agree that “we did have a vocation to be in the seminary for a while.” It gave me many great lessons about the “spiritual life” and prayer.

How many laymen can say: “My novice master said …” I always get “that look!”

“Your who?” they ask. I smile and say a prayer of thanks!

- Norbert Schott | Greencastle

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