Update from our Summer Seminarian

Last week, Fr. Howe wrote about the fathomless, superabundant feast that is Catholicism. This week’s Gospel reminds us that—if we cleave to Our Blessed Lord and if we abide in His Church—we will never hunger. Since I arrived at the end of May, I have had the privilege to begin some new youth and young adult initiatives, to be a part of liturgies, and to participate in a small way in pastoral care. The zeal for the work of the Kingdom, for hospitality, and for carrying on the rich Catholic history of this neighborhood exhibited by our parishioners has been a marvelous image of Christ’s superabundant feast.

Altaration, the study of the Mass with high school youths, has been a wonderful opportunity to bring the youth together outside of the typical catechetical environment and begin to build a community amongst our young ones. Discussing the source and summit of our faith with these kids gives me great hope for the future of the Church and our parish. Continuing from the catechetical to the social and communal, we have begun a series of monthly Youth Nights at the St. Hedwig Campus which have been a natural catalyst to creating bonds of friendship. Parents, our pastors, some young adults in the parish, and myself have been blessed to see how these youth have come to gather in the Lord in a new way.

Working with the Northeast Catholic Collective to provide formative gatherings for young adults, such as our recent Summer Soirees, has also been a blessed experience to showcase our parish through the St. Clement Campus and to bring all sorts of young adults together to encourage them to follow the Lord in a culture that is so counter to Him. Witnessing and being a part of the beauty of liturgies at all three of our campuses, especially the devotion of our parishioners, has been a consolation for me as a seminarian. Mr. Monson and those others who volunteer their time in the preparation of the Holy Mass are an example of devoted care for the Sacrament.

I look forward to my last month here at Holy Cross and I appreciate your continued prayers for my formation for the Priesthood. It is my sincere hope to leave Holy Cross with a deeper desire for He who is the Bread of Life, made present to the world in the superabundant feast that is Holy Church, and so well imaged in this local Catholic parish.

God love you,

-Kyle Etzel, Summer Seminarian