Friday, February 14, 2014



The beautiful old mission arches, built long ago, into the design of the 24 California Missions, are so symbolic of today’s seminarians.  

These simple arches standing together that support and strengthen each individual mission, seem to reflect today’s seminarians standing together to support each other’s vocation to the holy priesthood.  

These old mission arches, initially built under the direction of a peaceful Franciscan Friar, Padre Junipero Serra, seem symbolic of today’s seminarians working peacefully through the completion of their formation program during a time when we have a Pope taking the Franciscan name of “Francis”. 

The old mission arches stand strong, just as today’s seminarians stand strong in their commitment to their vocation.  

Like an old mission arch always secure and tall, a seminarian who realizes that this is truly God’s call for him, remains strong and tall in his commitment to be ordained a future priest.  

These young men being strong in their commitment to completing in excellence work through their lengthy formation program, living a life of chastity, showing charity towards others and being quiet men of prayer.  

They have a great love of church, respect for leadership and passion to learn how to be exceptional holly priests.  

Like an old mission arch that stands strong through heavy rains, winds and strong sun, a seminarian stands strong through the long hours of formation studies, the challenges great and small, as well as the needed field work to prepare for the priesthood.

The old mission arches are the same as all the other arches supporting the roof and so to are all the seminarians the same in supporting their seminary and the Universal Catholic Church.  

A young man who selects his seminary for his vocation program and later receives admission to that seminary, remains steadfast, supportive and committed to the Masses, prayers, teachings, spiritual guidance, field work and formation traditions provided by that individual seminary.  

A seminary that is Archdiocesan would be different in their formation program than that of a Franciscan or Dominican seminary.  

Yet, in their differences, much is the same, and each seminarian shows their support by obedience and commitment to what the program consists of.  It is thus the best of times for young men to consider the priesthood.

The old mission arches are beautiful to me; since I know that each arch was build by hand with much care, and much time, brick by brick.  

The outer layer of plaster composite was then applied over these bricks with the final perfect shade of paint to complete each arch.  

So too, a seminary who will be a priest, is built over much time, with much care, to their studies and spiritual growth.  Their outer layer reflecting their full completion are the white vestments on their Ordination Day.  

That perfect shade of paint is then given through the Holy Spirit, and these new priests are then ready to stand together for a lifetime of service, like those old arches in the California sun.

Leslie Lenko
Vocations Promoter