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Newsletter of Mater Dei Seminary
July 2004

Other articles in this newsletter:
   Moral Theology:
         Our Courts and the Question of Obscenity

Dear friends and benefactors,

By the time you receive this newsletter, the expansion of our Seminary will have been realized by the purchase of new property adjacent to our church and present seminary. This real estate consists of three separate housing units, and twelve storage units on approximately 1.7 acres. Although a lot of renovation to the buildings will be required, this acquisition has tremendous potential for our seminary and parish.

Divine Providence is defined as God's loving care for us. How often we need to be reminded of the words of Our Lord found in the Gospel of St. Matthew: “Look at the birds in the air; they do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet their heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of much more value than they? . . . See how the lilies of the field grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed like one of these. . . .. ” It is truly providential that at a time when there was a real need for expansion, this neighboring property came up for sale and Almighty God provided us the necessary funds to finance this purchase. Although there are a number of maintenance issues with the buildings, we will address them as we have the time and the funds.

During my past visit to Mount St. Michael's in Spokane, I met with Bishop Davila and two of his priests from Mexico to discuss our up-coming priests' meeting between the priests in the United States working with me and his priests in Mexico. Two years ago, our gathering took place in Juarez, Mexico; this year it will be held in Omaha. I estimate that approximately thirty priests will be in attendance.

Our June priests' retreat was certainly a great spiritual success. Besides the two conferences each day, we read from the book Lex Levitarum. which is a review of the spiritual maxims of Pope St. Gregory the Great who ruled the Church from 590 to 604 A.D. Even though this saintly Pontiff lived many centuries ago, it is obvious that his principles on the priesthood will never lose their relevance.

One particular chapter from this book which I found very interesting dealt with clear guidelines for determining a true vocation. “Vocation, or the call of God to the sacred ministry, is neither a miraculous interference of Providence, nor, on the other hand, a mere persuasion of a pious fancy. When Divine Providence destines any one to a certain state of life, it bestows upon him a natural inclination thereto, and gives him the dispositions necessary for the fulfillment of what that state of life implies. If inclination and dispositions are absent, we can conclude that God does not call; if they exist, we may infer that He does, and the more securely in proportion to the strength of such inclination and dispositions. Hence, if a youth is indifferent towards the priestly state, or thinks lightly of its excellence; if he experiences a certain disinclination or dislike, or perhaps disquiet and aversion, for celibacy, prayer, the divine offices, a life of recollection, theological study, or the duties of the care of souls, if he is fond of secular occupation, is inclined to the pleasures of the world and feels more satisfaction in serving the world than God, such a one carries not the marks of a divine vocation ... On the other hand, one who holds in high esteem the state and duties of the priest, who feels himself drawn to them, who experiences pleasure and satisfaction in the service of God, in a life of chastity, in prayer, in retirement, and in sacred studies, and who is determined to seek in the pastoral office the honor of God alone and the salvation of his own soul and the souls of others — in him it is impossible to mistake the call of God.”

Another chapter on the spiritual maxims of Pope St. Gregory the Great, which I found inspirational was titled “Sympathy with Souls. ”In all things priests must pattern themselves after the Good Shepherd Who laid down His Life for the sheep.

With our prayers and blessing,
Most Rev. Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI

Other articles in this newsletter:
   Moral Theology: Our Courts and the Question of Obscenity

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Printed copies of Adsum, a publication by the seminarians of Mater Dei Seminary for the reading enjoyment of friends and benefactors, are sent free of charge to all who request it. Most issues also contain photos of recent events involving the seminarians. If you would like to put on this mailing list, please use this form.

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