A letter from Andy Miller, former administrative assistant for Fr. Jess. Andy left Our Lady of Joy in August 2016 to enter the Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Nebraska.
Dear Parishioners at Our Lady of Joy,
The first year of seminary formation (called “year of spirituality” or “candidacy”) is considered a “year of probation.” During this year we are watched very closely by our superiors. This includes peer evaluation, work reports, and monthly meetings with our novice master. We focus on learning Scripture, spirituality, liturgy, Latin, Gregorian Chant, and catechism, as well the constitutions and history of our order, The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. They also give us plenty of work to do (callouses before chalices!) At the end of the year, the priests at the seminary meet and vote on all of the first year seminarians to determine if we should continue on with formation. I am pleased to announce that the priest council voted and favorably and I will be allowed to continue.
Next October, we will be incorporated into the Fraternity of St. Peter, becoming official members. This is followed by the ancient rite of “clerical tonsure” where we will kneel before the bishop and he will cut our hair in five places as a sign of humility, indicating our entrance into the clerical state. We will then receive the cassock. Our current attire is suit and tie, so we are generally easy to pick out from the sea of cassocks of the upper year seminarians.
We recently finished classes and finals. Ordinations were celebrated on May 26th. We have 12 new priests for our district, as well as about a dozen more our seminary in Wigratzbad, Germany. Over the summer, the first year seminarians will spend all of June at the seminary doing manual labor, assisting with various retreats, and helping with liturgies. I was assigned to be the sacristan for the summer, which puts me in charge of eight altars and linens and vestments for up to 40 priests. We will leave the seminary at the end of the month and I will be in Phoenix until the end of August. I am planning to assist in the OLOJ Parish Office during that time a few days a week, so please stop in and say hello!
Thank you for all of your prayers and support. Know of my prayers as well.