By Fr. Joseph Taphorn
Rector and Vice President, The Saint Paul Seminary
A recent tradition here is to begin the new academic year with a day of prayer and reflection for our faculty and staff. This year, we were blessed to hear from our new auxiliary bishop, the Most Reverend Joseph Williams, an alumnus of our seminary.
He reminded us that we “breathe the culture” in which we live. A reminder, for sure, but also a warning of sorts, as we can easily see how our culture has dramatically shifted over the last generation or two. Not all that long ago, our culture was fundamentally Judeo-Christian; now, we face a modern secularism where human life and dignity have been cheapened.
So here at The Saint Paul Seminary, we prepare our seminarians for ministry in this challenging context. Grounded in Christ’s own charity, our seminarians learn how to encounter others, making a human connection then serving as a bridge to Our Lord.
This fall, we welcomed a strong incoming class of 25 seminarians from 13 dioceses who are embarking on this journey of priestly formation. They are a talented and diverse group of men. It will be a joy to accompany them over the next few years and witness their maturation in Christ as they prepare to make a gift of themselves wholeheartedly to Him and the Church on the day of their ordination. But we also recognize that ordination isn’t the end of the road. It is really just the beginning of a lifetime of ecclesial service that needs ongoing support and encouragement. In view of today’s culture, the work of our Institute for Ongoing Clergy Formation is as important as ever.
As another school year has now begun, we are as grateful as ever for your prayers and support. Be assured of ours as well.
Thank you for being a member of The Saint Paul Seminary family, and may God bless you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Reverend Joseph C. Taphorn, JCL
Rector and Vice President