Friday, May 2nd, was the final day of classes at The Catholic University of America for the seminarians at Theological College. The much-anticipated communal Mass and dinner celebration, replete with awards and gifts, gave the seminarians and staff the opportunity to reflect upon the blessings of scholarship, friendship, and discernment in the unique environment that is TC. It was a fitting send-off for the 14 Deacons who will be ordained this summer, as well as the 7 Basselin scholars who are graduating from that program. In his homily at the beautiful Mass punctuated by profound musical mediations, Rector Fr. Brown highlighted the emphasis from the Liturgy of the Word: What is from God is eternal; what is from man will pass away. In the seminary as in all endeavors and life passages, “what we are truly seeking is to know and experience and glorify Him.” We can understand the simplicity needed in this openness to the Spirit in the person of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, whose feast was celebrated that very day, as Father Rector reminded us: “Let us mark this feast with wonder, knowing the dignity Christ has bestowed upon us, and knowing that He will see us safely along the path He has set us upon, as he did for St. Athanasius.”

The gourmet dinner that followed, begun with a special prayer by Deacon Brian Thompson, was, as always, memorable. Graduating class photos were bestowed by Fr. Brown, who recognized the destinations and future assignments of Basselins and Deacons alike. The Rector’s moving tributes to the departing staff, Fr. Tony Pogorelc, Interim Vice-Rector and Vice-Rector for Institutional Advancement, and Fr. Martin Burnham, Director of Pastoral Formation, gave new dimension to our understanding that “part of what the priesthood is all about is transitions.”  Fr. Pogorelc’s farewell address spoke to his own move as well as that of all those moving on: “Not only must you ‘trust the Providence of God that brought you here,’ as the inscription above the front door implores, but you must also trust in the Providence of God that sends you away from here!”