[This article first appeared in the 2019 Fall issue of Vianney News.]
When James Baxter and Nathaniel Binversie entered Saint John Vianney College Seminary, they did not know God’s plan for their lives, but they were willing to find out. Today, these SJV alumni are pouring their formation into Exodus 90, an intense spiritual exercise for Catholic men around the world.
Baxter, now married with a newly born child, looks back at his experience at SJV with fondness. “Those were some of the happiest times of my life,” he recalled. “The image that always comes to mind is of the dorms right above the chapel. The Eucharist is the focal point of the entire seminary.”
Baxter and Binversie overlapped just one year at SJV, but they became close friends, and the formation they received became the bedrock for their lives. Binversie, who is also married and has three children, recalled SJV as a place where he grew in holiness, discipline, routine and prayer.
“The life at SJV was challenging. I was pushed past mediocrity and was clearly being called to become the man God wanted me to be.” Binversie saw drastic change in himself and in the men around him as they learned to live orderly lives.
After graduation, James continued his formation at Saint Meinrad Seminary in Indiana for two years before discerning the married life. Nathaniel worked three years as a missionary for Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS).
The two friends then joined the Exodus 90 movement, Baxter as Co-Founder and Executive Director and Binversie as Director of Mission. The program focuses on prayer, self-mastery and fraternity over a 90-day period with the ultimate goal of renewing the Church. In 2018, more than 16,000 men participated in the exercise. Exodus 90 groups are active in all 50 states and more than 17 countries around the world.
Baxter and Binversie are grateful to SJV for equipping them to serve Christ and His Church in this very important way.
Men in Christ. Men of the Church. Men for Others.