Seek the Lord by Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr
Every Catholic should know the definition of a sacrament as “an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.” And what s grace? The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” calls grace “participation in the life of God.” That is a font that never runs dry.
Moreover, the grace poured out by the Holy Spirit in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Holy Orders, Matrimony and Anointing of the Sick does not only bless and enrich the recipient, it has bountiful effects on the rest of the community as well.
Priests, for example, are not bestowed Holy Orders for their own benefit, but to empower them to celebrate the sacraments and preach the Gospel to others in the name of the Church. The lay faithful, in turn, support them with their prayers and apostolates in accordance with their own vocations.
On May 18, I was privileged to ordain by the laying on of hands nine new priests for our archdiocese, the most in four decades. That such a large number answered God’s call with a generous “yes” was only possible through the graces they already received through regular reception of the sacraments. At the same time, they also benefited from the loving help of grace-filled friends and family over the long years of preparation for priesthood.
The number of seminarians at the Athenaeum of Ohio – Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West in Mt. Washington doubled from 2010 to 2017 and is expected to double again by 2024. In addition, the Athenaeum provides excellent formation for those preparing for the diaconate and lay pastoral ministry. An outward sign of our recent and expected future growth is the new building nearing completion at the seminary.
Fenwick Hall, named for the first Bishop of Cincinnati, will contain 30 additional seminarian rooms and two conference rooms. Set behind and adjacent to the existing seminary building, it will provide space for the seminary to host ongoing or secondary formation programs throughout the summer months. Thus, Fenwick Hall will allow the seminary to extend its mission beyond initial formation for the priesthood and other ministries of the Church.
This important project, the first building expansion at the seminary since 1962, was made possible by the prayers and the generous financial contributions of the faithful. That is another outward sign of God’s grace.
The first building constructed on the Mt. Washington campus in 1890 was also called Fenwick Hall. Much has changed in 129 years, but the need for priests to administer the sacraments has not changed and never will. At the same time, there is today a greater recognition of lay vocations in the Church. The lay-produced newspaper you are reading is an example.
When Stephen A. Trosley joined “The Catholic Telegraph” as editor and general manager in January 2012, he brought with him more than four decades of experience as a reporter, editor and publisher of secular daily newspapers. At the archdiocese, he has displayed the professionalism of a veteran journalist and the faith of a committed Catholic. I am very grateful for his service as he enters a well-deserved retirement. This is the last issue of the “Telegraph” under Steve’s editorship.
I am pleased to welcome as his successor Jessica Rinaudo, who becomes editorial director with the August issue. She comes from the Diocese of Shreveport, LA, where she was managing editor, graphic designer and writer for “The Catholic Connection,” the monthly magazine of the diocese. Under her direction, the publication won 12 Catholic Press Awards.
In these challenging times for the Church in the United States and around the world, we continue to see manifold signs of God’s grace at work in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.