During the USCCB’s Fall Plenary Assembly, Theological College co-sponsored a dinner at Cinghiale Restaurant in Baltimore for invited bishops, Sulpician formators, leaders at St. Luke’s Institute,  trustees, and a few seminarians. This gathering was characterized by an air of gratitude. The rectors of both Theological College and St. Mary’s Seminary, Sulpician Fathers Bud Stevens and Phillip Brown, were in attendance. At the dinner, Fr. Brown expressed his gratitude for the Saint Luke Institute, for its collaboration with St. Mary’s formation evaluation process for admissions. Fr. Brown lauded the institute for its high standards and council that has, in the past 6 to 7 years, “immensely improved” the evaluation process of seminarians at St. Mary’s Seminary.

Fr. Bud Stevens also had words of gratitude for the distinguished guests of the evening. He spoke of his time transitioning into the position of rector of Theological College. Fr. Bud recognized TC’s reputation for intellectual excellence, reminding the guests that one of the names that Jesus accepted was “teacher.” He also highlighted how TC is truly a house of prayer in which the men are encouraged, first and foremeost, on building a deep and profound relationship with the Lord. Finally, Fr. Bud expressed that the TC house is “one of the strongest communities I have ever been a part of.”

These were certainly welcome sentiments for the bishops and archbishops in attendance, especially Bishop Zubik (Pittsburgh) and Bishop Lucia (Syracuse), whose seminarians are formed by the Sulpicians. It was an evening of hope and positivity. There is work to be done in the Church, in our dioceses, and in our seminaries. The word at the Fall Plenary Assembly dinner seemed to be that we are moving in the right direction.

(By Deacon Daniel Kushner, Diocese of Pittsbugh, pictured above left, with Bishop Zubik and confrere Nino Constantino )