Archive for the ‘Young traditionalists’ Category
On Wednesday evening, January 6th, a Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form was celebrated at St. Mary Church. Father DeWayne Kayser, Pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Madison, SD, served as Deacon of the Mass and our seminarian, Mr. John Streff, F.S.S.P., served as Subdeacon. Mr. Landon Frederes was Master of Ceremonies.
“As you kneel at the feet of the child Jesus on the day of his Epiphany and see him a king bearing none of the outward signs of royalty, you can tell him: Lord, take away my pride; crush my self love, my desire to affirm myself and impose myself on others. Make the foundation of my personality my identification with you.
If our vocation comes first, if the star shines ahead to start us along the path of God’s love, it is illogical that we should begin to doubt if it chances to disappear from view. It might happen at certain moments in our interior life — and we are nearly always to blame — that the star disappears, just as it did to the wise kings on their journey. We have already realized the divine splendour of our vocation, and we are convinced about its definitive character, but perhaps the dust we stir up as we walk our miseries — forms an opaque cloud that cuts off the light from above. What should we do if this happens? Follow the example of those wise men and ask. Herod made use of knowledge to act unjustly. The Magi use it to do good. But we Christians have no need to go to Herod nor to the wise men of this world. Christ has given his Church sureness in doctrine and a flow of grace in the sacraments. He has arranged things so that there will always be people to guide and lead us, to remind us constantly of our way. There is an infinite treasure of knowledge available to us: the word of God kept safe by the Church, the grace of Christ administered in the sacraments and also the witness and example of those who live by our side and have known how to build with their good lives a road of faithfulness to God.”
-St. Josemaria Escriva, Homily for the Feast of the Epiphany, 1956
On Saturday morning, August 15th, the Feast of Our Lady’s Assumption into Heaven, St. Mary’s Parish in Salem celebrated a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form (only the second one since the changes made following implementation of Blessed Paul VI’s new Missal). The Solemn Mass, where the Celebrant is assisted by a Deacon and Subdeacon, in addition to celebrating Our Lady’s Assumption, was also offered in celebration of the Quasquicentennial (125th Anniversary) of the Founding of the Diocese of Sioux Falls by Pope Leo XIII. Reverend Father DeWayne F. Kayser, Pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Madison, South Dakota, served as the Deacon of the Mass and our parish seminarian, Mr. John E. Streff, F.S.S.P., entering his fourth year of studies at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Nebraska for the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, served as the Subdeacon of the Mass. Thanks to parishioner and Parish Photographer, Sherry Stoffel, for the photos!
On the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Paul J. Swain, Bishop of Sioux Falls, came out to Saint Mary’s Church in Salem to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form to twelve of our young people who attend the weekly 12 Noon Sunday Mass in Latin. Following the Rite of Confirmation, His Excellency remained for the Missa Cantata celebrated by the Pastor, the Reverend Martin E. Lawrence.
[Photos courtesy of parishioner Sherry Stoffel]
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Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
In writing to you, I wish to inform you that I have successfully completed my first year of studies (out of a total of seven years) at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Nebraska. Thank you for your prayers and support in this endeavor. It has truly been a great year that I will never forget!
I have enjoyed the many opportunities that have been presented to me during my time at the seminary, especially the extra opportunities for prayer, spiritual reading, and for socializing with fellow seminarians. The whole seminary took a trip to Colorado to go hiking in the beginning of the academic year. This was a great chance to begin to become acquainted with my new confrères. The first year class took many day-trips as well, including a visit to the Omaha Zoo, the Strategic Air Command Museum, the Carmelite nuns, the “Pink Sisters,” the Schoenstatt Shrine of Our Lady, and a few nearby hiking trips. These outings provide welcome breaks from the many studies that we do at the seminary.
My classes this year were very good, though. This year, I took Latin I, Introduction to the Spiritual Life, Introduction to Liturgy, Christian Doctrine, Gregorian Chant, Music and Morality, Sacred Scripture, and Constitutions of the FSSP (our fraternity: the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter). I received my report card and found that, with the help of God, I had performed quite well in all of my classes. This fall, I will begin to take more difficult classes as I begin the study of Philosophy for two years, followed by four years of Theology.
Also this fall, on October 19, I will receive what is called the “First Clerical Tonsure.” Tonsure is a ceremony in which a man leaves behind his state as a lay person and becomes a cleric, a person consecrated to the service of God and His Holy Catholic Church. This internal transformation is shown externally by the change of dress that takes place during the ceremony. The man begins to wear publically and constantly the roman cassock and white clerical collar, showing his consecration to the service of God and the Church. The transformation takes place when the Bishop cuts five snips of hair in the shape of a cross from the head of the one being tonsured, symbolizing the renunciation of a worldly life and the offering of oneself to God. One is allowed to let the hair grow back, though.
But why all this? Why give one’s life completely to God? Well, God calls everyone to a particular vocation in life. Some He calls to the priesthood, some to the religious life, others to the married life, and still others He calls to remain unmarried. On our efforts to cooperate with God’s will for our lives depends our Eternal Salvation. If God is calling me to the priesthood, I must cooperate with a generous and joyful heart, recognizing the marvelous privilege it would be to serve God and His people as a priest.
Venerable Pope Pius XII, in his hallmark encyclical letter of 1947, Mediator Dei, stated that “Jesus the Son of God quite clearly had one aim in view when He undertook the mission of mercy which was to endow mankind with the rich blessings of supernatural grace” (MD #1). Before Our Lord’s passion and death, He instituted the Catholic priesthood as a way of perpetuating His work upon Earth, particularly in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is “the supreme instrument whereby the merits won by the divine Redeemer upon the cross are distributed to the faithful” (MD #79).
Pius XII further explains that “By [priests], [the faithful] will be supplied with the comforts and food of the spiritual life. From them they will procure the medicine of salvation assuring their cure and happy recovery from the fatal sickness of their sins. The priest, finally, will bless their homes, consecrate their families and help them, as they breathe their last, across the threshold of eternal happiness” (MD #43). So, we can see that the priesthood is absolutely essential for the salvation of souls.
In order to ensure that the world has good Catholic priests to lead its people to Christ, it is essential that young men studying for the priesthood in seminaries be formed properly that they may grow in the knowledge and holiness that are necessary to become worthy instruments through which Jesus Christ may communicate to the world “the rich blessings of supernatural grace” (MD #1).
As can easily be seen from the above paragraphs, the priesthood is vitally important, and without seminarians, what guarantee do we have of priests for the future?
So, dear parish family, I ask you to please continue to remember me in your prayers. I have enjoyed my first year very much, and I look forward to a great second year and beyond. It has been great to have been home on summer vacation. I will return to the seminary on August 31. I thank you all for your support, most especially for the prayers that you already offer for me. I pray for you all every day.
Please remember that St. John Vianney, the patron of parish priests, once said, “The priest is not a priest for himself; he is a priest for YOU!”
Thank you all very much!
May God bless you and may Our Lady of Guadalupe protect you!
John E. Streff
On the Feast of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
On Sunday, September 9th, following the 12 noon Traditional Latin Mass (which was a Sung Mass), the Altar Society had a going away party for parishioner John E. Streff, who entered his First Year of Studies for the Priesthood with the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter at their Seminary in Denton, Nebraska on September 13th. Here are some photos: