Dear Friends in Christ,
St. John Henry Newman, one of my favorite saints, penned an often-quoted meditation that begins:
“God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.”
Each of you is a link in that chain. So am I. And so are the joyful, Catholic leaders being formed at The Saint Paul Seminary to give a credible witness to Christ. That witness is essential to the health of the Church. As St. Pope Paul VI wrote in his 1975 apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Nuntiandi, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.”
Our rector, Fr. Joseph Taphorn, and his faculty and staff have been carefully building a “culture of witness” at the western end of Summit Avenue. There, our Church’s next generation of priests, deacons, and lay leaders are being prepared to not only know Christ, but also to share His love with others through their example. I hope you will see in these pages evidence of the impact our major seminary is having on the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as well as on the Church in the Upper Midwest and beyond. God does amazing things when we say “yes” to His call to do Him some definite service.
“God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.” — St. John Henry Newman
So the next time you are before the Blessed Sacrament, whether in St. Mary’s Chapel at The Saint Paul Seminary or at the Cathedral of St. Paul, or at your home parish, please remember that you are indeed a link in a chain that connects us with our Blessed Mother, with the patron of our seminary, the Apostle Paul, with St. John Henry Newman, and with all those witnesses and future witnesses who are now studying at The Saint Paul Seminary. God is counting on you, like them, to say “yes” to the mission that He has lovingly entrusted to you.
Please join me in praying for the continued success of The Saint Paul Seminary and in generously supporting its programs and students. With gratitude and the promise of my best wishes and prayers, I remain,
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda
Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis Chairman of the Board