This was move-in day at SJS and thirty-three new men arrived as part of this Holy House. Here are the remarks with which I greeted them and their families and friends.
Well, look at you! You made it! You fit all that stuff in your room and now here you are in the heart of this holy house. Where each day we will pray, morning noon and night, only that God might make us holy and we might know his will.
So…. Relax! Be not afraid! Be at peace! You’re home! It’a going to be great fun!
Be at peace, my brother. For the same God who gave you birth, the same God who taught you to laugh, who is the way, the truth and the life...that God is all this place is about. He is in the air we breathe and work we do. He is the reason we rise and we rest. He loves you more than you will ever know, and he has great things in store for you here! Things more amazing than you have even dreamed. Like the little kid who has climbed the ladder to the great big slide, just take a deep breath and let go! He’ll do the rest.
And be at peace, dear parents and friends. My 85 year old mother has some advice for you. Trust in God and he will do great things for your son. He knows how much you love him and God will take good care of him here. For God has called him and he has answered. And that is very good.
I welcome you on behalf of an incredible faculty of wonderful priests, who once sat where you sit and once felt exactly as you feel today. I welcome you on behalf of Cardinal O’Malley and our Board of Trustees. I welcome you on behalf of our superb staff and our spiritual directors and pastoral supervisors. I welcome you home.
So relax and enjoy. You only have one first day of major Seminary, Mine was 37 years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth. That day was, for me, the beginning of a life so filled with joy and beauty and truth that I cannot describe it without tears in my eyes. And that is just what God has in store for you.