Letter from the Rector (2019 Summer Oracle)

[This post appeared first in Summer 2019 Oracle Magazine]

Dear Friends,

It’s ordination season!  What a great time of year at The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity.

Recently I was headed out of the seminary, suitcase in tow, to begin an ordination “road trip,” when a member of our maintenance staff, who is not Catholic, stopped to chat. I told him of my travels, and then he asked, “Father, is an ordination kind of like a wedding?” “Why, yes it is!” I replied.  I then explained how, just as a husband and wife make a life-long commitment to each other on their wedding day, a man on his ordination day is configured to Christ in order to serve His bride, the Church.

In these pages you will find stories about our seminarians who were ordained this spring either to the transitional diaconate or to the priesthood. A few more will be ordained in the coming months. We are proud of each and every one of them.

Though the academic year has ended, the summer months are still busy at the seminary. Our men continue their formation in various ways: training in hospital ministry, going deeper in spiritual formation at the Institute for Priestly Formation, learning Spanish in Mexico, or participating in parish internships. This summer also marks the inaugural cohort of 20 educators who are participating in the Institute for Catholic School Leadership.

Finally, I am excited to announce that we are creating a five-year strategic plan, which will build upon the good work of the previous strategic plan and subsequent re-branding effort. In preparation for this effort, seminary administrators, faculty, and board members offered their feedback to key questions. Sixteen leaders, from within the seminary and broader community, will work with a facilitator later this month to draft a plan. The plan will be revised over the summer and presented to the seminary’s Board of Trustees for approval this fall. Please keep this effort in your prayers as we work diligently and faithfully to fulfill our mission of forming joyful priests and lay leaders.

Know that I am grateful for your ongoing support and be assured of my prayers and best wishes this summer.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Reverend Joseph C. Taphorn, JCL
Rector and Vice President