Monday, November 19, 2012

Alumni Dinner at SJS

A Chapel and Rectory full of Saint John's Seminary alumni joined Cardinal O'Malley and the Saint John's community for Evening Prayer, a Reception and Dinner last Friday night.  At the beginning of the dinner, I offered the following remarks:

Within a week we will give thanks.  When we do, we will pray, for the first time, the collect in the new Missal for Thanksgiving Day.  It goes like this:

Father all-powerful, your gifts of love are countless and your goodness infinite; as we come before you... with gratitude for your kindness, open our hearts to have concern for every man, woman, and child, so that we may share your gifts in loving service.

It’ a good time to give thanks....

Thanks for the more than three thousand men who have prayed in our chapel, eaten in our refectory and walked those sacred halls; 

Thanks for the newly ordained priest, who with hands still smelling of Chrism, desires nothing so much as to lay down his life for the sheep;

Thanks for those who have grown old in priestly service, whose arms have grown heavy with the prayers they have lifted to heaven, and who now walk slightly stooped from the sacrifices they have offered;

Thanks for the young man in whose heart the whisper of God’s call is first heard somewhere tonight, who will follow where we have walked, and who does not yet know what a magnificent journey he is about to embark on;

Thanks for Cardinal O’Malley and all those who have gone before him, who have fostered this place, supported this place and sacrificed to make it thrive; 

Thanks for our younger brothers who prepare for priesthood as seminarians of the twenty-first century, thanks for their faith, their hope, and their perseverance in answering Christ’s call;

Thanks for each and every one of you, who are what these seminarians seek to be, and who are always a part of this house and always an honored guest.

Thank you for your presence, for your priesthood, and for your support of our beloved Saint John’s.