The highlight of the seminary is of course the ceremony of priestly ordination, but the feast of Candlemas on February 2 and the following day are also great days of grace for the seminarians, more of whom are likely to be involved. The ceremonies were presided over by Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta.
February 2: Habit and Tonsure
What joy to see the seminarians wearing the cassock for the first time! This important change arouses great emotion, especially among loved ones.
Fr. Hannes Regele, who preached the preparatory retreat, spoke of the dignity of the clerical habit, of which one must always be aware, because it is on the one hand the “official uniform,” and on the other hand, just like an exotic specimen, it naturally stands out today. But what an honor to be able to wear it!
This is not only valid for the seminarians, but also for the confreres who rejoice with them. And if we still see pants in the seminary, this does not mean that there is no more fabric, but that they are postulant brothers who must wait until September to receive the religious habit.
In fact, what is more important, and less obvious, is the tonsure which elevates the candidates to the clerical state and thus further separates them from the world. For a year and half, the candidates have lived the spiritual life and are consecrated to God, just like a thing that is taken out of profane use by consecration.
On this day, nine first-year seminarians donned the livery of Christ: 2 Germans, 1 Argentinian, 1 Dutch, and 5 Poles.
Eight second-year seminarians received the tonsure: 3 Germans, 1 Australian, 1 Lebanese, 2 Poles, and 1 Swiss.
February 3: Minor First and Second Orders
The Minor Orders are generally conferred by twos: this is why we speak of the Minor First Orders, which are Porter and Lector; as for the Minor Second Orders, they are Exorcist and Acolyte.
The first two are conferred on third-year seminarians, and the other two on fourth-year seminarians. This is how the young Levites gradually climb the degrees that will lead them to the priesthood.
On this day, 4 seminarians received the First Minor Orders: 1 German, 1 Austrian, and 2 Swiss. And two others received the Minor Second Orders: 1 German and 1 Austrian.
We thank God for these graces given to those who are preparing for the priesthood, and we ask Him for perseverance for all seminarians. And let us not forget to pray for vocations.
Lord, give us priests!
Lord, give us holy priests!
Lord, give us many holy priests!