This year’s Alumni Day on October 2 began with an inspiring presentation by Dr. Kathy Galleher titled, “Healthy Ministry: Self-Care in Times of Transition.” Her counseling experience of over 25 years witnesses to the wisdom in Mother Teresa’s words: “Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” Dr. Galleher outlined causes of depletion, red flags signaling that this “burn out” may be taking hold, and ways to retain a sustainable pace “without sprinting all the time.” All present were most grateful for the presentation and ensuing discussion.
Later that afternoon, the Alumni Day Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington, who praised the legacy of faith and service that originates in formation at Theological College, spreading throughout the U.S. as those ordained begin their ministries in the nation’s myriad dioceses. Noting that all were gathered at this Mass to praise God for the gifts received at TC, he said, “Just as the Church’s remembrance of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection ushers in a celebration of praise, so too your time at TC, with all that it contained, is now celebrated in thanksgiving and a renewal of purpose.”
At the reception and dinner that followed, Monsignor Michael Clay of the Class of 1980 received the annual Alumnus Lifetime Service Award recognizing his years of faithful service in the Lord’s Church. Clay was surrounded by over a dozen close friends and family members, in addition to the entire seminary community whom he has served as associate dean for graduate ministerial studies and associate professor of practice in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America. The bestowal of this award was particularly poignant at this event because Monsignor Clay will soon conclude his service to TC and Catholic University at the end of the 2019-20 school year when he returns to ministry in his home diocese of Raleigh.
This year’s Alumni Day — which took place during the Extraordinary Missionary Month called for by Pope Francis — offered an opportunity for the TC community to raise funds in support of St. Anthony’s Seminary in Malawi, which has been entrusted to the Sulpician Fathers. Seminarians organized a display of religious items from TC and Sulpician archives, which were silently auctioned during the Alumni Day celebration. Over $2,000 was raised to help rejuvenate the Malawi seminary farm, which sustains not only its community but, ideally, will raise funds to support its formation program. To learn how to participate in this “Farm Aid 2019” initiative, go to the above link, or call (410) 323-5070.
Please join us next year on October 7 for Alumni Day 2020, with principal Mass celebrant and Alumnus Lifetime Service Award recipient Bishop Robert Barron!