On Wednesday, October 12, 2022, Theological College celebrated its annual Alumni Day. TC alumni, faculty, and seminarians gathered in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for a Mass in thanksgiving for time spent in formation at the seminary as well as to remember those alumni who have died during recent years.
The celebrant of the liturgy was the Most Reverend Mitchell Rozanski, the Archbishop of St. Louis and a graduate of the Class of 1984. In his homily, the Archbishop spoke about the firm foundation for priestly ministry that he and his classmates were provided by the Sulpician Fathers as they tried to implement the vision of priestly formation that was articulated during the Second Vatican Council. He described it as a time of transition from Christendom to the Apostolic Age. Young priests would be asked to take on greater responsibilities sooner than in times past. Looking back over his 38 years in the priesthood, he expressed his gratitude for the formation at TC and Catholic University, which prepared him and his fellow seminarians to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing milieu.
After the Mass, the alumni joined the faculty and seminarians of Theological College for a reception and banquet dinner. At the end of dinner, the rector, Father Dominic Ciriaco, P.S.S., presented Archbishop Rozanski with the seminary’s Alumnus Lifetime Service Award, for his lifetime of outstanding priestly service as a humble and beloved pastor, Christian conciliator, mentor of the lay faithful, champion of the poor and vulnerable, and joyful witness to the Word of Jesus Christ in the tradition of the priests of St. Sulpice. In his brief remarks upon accepting the award, Archbishop Rozanski said that he can trace the love he has always felt for parish ministry back to TC’s emphasis on a high standard of pastoral formation.
Seminarian Joe McHenry (3-T, Archdiocese of Washington) remarked, “It is always a great joy and inspiration when our alumni return to celebrate Mass or simply to visit the seminary. To be able to converse and honor so many alumni each year on the occasion of our Alumni Day is a tremendous blessing. It is a testament to the solid program at Theological College that these men return to recall their formative years spent walking the halls of this seminary. I look forward to the day when my classmates and I can reconvene and reflect on our own years of formation with a similar sense of joy and gratitude.”