"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

CNN: From girlfriends to God: Seminarians answer the call

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Updated 2220 GMT (0520 HKT) September 22, 2015

Springfield, Pennsylvania (CNN) Chris Massaro tugs at his clerical collar, swapping it out for another as he pulls on a black cassock and white surplice in preparation for Mass.

It's the sort of repeated daily change -- between black clerical clothes, vestments for Mass, work clothes and back again -- that he's still getting used to as a first-year Catholic seminarian.

"I've been sweating constantly and that's frustrating, I got to be honest," he says. "I enjoy the schedule, but there are parts of the schedule I don't like -- and that's a good thing. It works on obedience."

Ask Massaro what he used to think his life would look like at 24 and the answer is immediate: "Nothing like this."

He had girlfriends. He was a sports nut who couldn't get enough of his New York Giants. He enjoyed the adrenaline rush of triathlons and Tough Mudder obstacle courses.

He enrolled in a Ph.D. program in medical physics at Vanderbilt University and imagined a career that would allow him to care for a family.

Now he's one of nine men taking part in their "Spiritual Year" at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary -- one stop in a seven-year journey to become priests.

Unlike the other 130-plus seminarians living at Saint Charles' sprawling, picturesque campus on Philadelphia's Main Line -- where Pope Francis will stay this weekend -- these men are spending the year in a no-frills brick building 20 minutes away. Living with them is the Rev. Christopher Cooke, who directs the one-year program and serves as an adviser.

It's a dedicated time spent apart -- free of tests, grades and outside tensions -- to go deep, focus on prayer and develop their personal relationships with God.

"But," says Cooke, "don't get the idea that this is a year of resting in hammocks." Read more here....

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