Dear Members of the Administration, Faculty, Support Staff and Seminarians,
Amid all of the transitions at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, now at St. Mary's, and amid all of the particular delights that summer-time brings, the desires of our hearts are called in Psalm 27:4-6 to sing and pray, "One thing I ask of the Lord, this I seek...to dwell in the Lord's house all the days of my life, to gaze on the Lord's beauty...singing and chanting praise to the Lord."
This beauty has been seen and tasted in recent days as the new administrative staff has been gathering to prayerfully plan for the coming year. I am grateful to Bishop Edward Rice, Fr. Donald Henke, Fr. Thomas McDermott, O.P., Fr. James Swift, C.M., Fr. Paul Rothschild, and Dr. John Gresham. Their generosity and shared wisdom in our meetings has engendered, in the Holy Spirit, a real unity in Jesus' Heart and that is beautiful.
As many of you know several personnel developments have transpired in recent days:
* Miss Mary Ann Aubin has been named the new Director of the Library after years of serving as the Kenrick Seminary Registrar. Her graduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (MLS), and her ardent desire to serve in this particular capacity, promises to bless the seminary community.
* Mrs. Catherine Hayek has happily agreed to increase her hours of service to two days a week as Registrar for Glennon College, as well as coordinate matters that deal with immigration and foreign student affairs.
* Mrs. Joanne Criscione, M.S.W. has been named the new Assistant Coordinator for Human Formation Services. She comes to us with a rich backround in personal growth counseling grounded in the Catholic tradition. She was highly recommended by Dr. Susanne Harvath because of her love for the Church and priesthood, and because of her ability to integrate personal growth counseling with Christian faith, contemplative prayer and discernment.
* Fr. Samuel Weber, O.S.B. who has blessed us with the beauty of teaching Gregorian chant departs amid family needs to care for his sister Diane who is suffering in the final stages of Lupus. I learned just a week ago that his Archabbot, Archabbot Justin, is providing a situation where Fr. Samuel's other sister Marie can serve as a housekeeper while Fr. Samuel serves in parish ministry. Together they can then more easily attend to the health needs of their sister Diane. We bless Fr. Samuel, in a grateful return blessing, for all of the good that has come from his labors with us at the seminary. We promise him our intercessory prayers for his new parish assignment and for the needs of his family.
* Dr. Ryan Madison has accepted a new position of leadership at the University of St. Thomas near Fort Worth, Texas. About 2 weeks ago the news was received that he has been named Academic Dean, Tutor and Teacher. We offer our heartfelt congratulations and assure him and his family of our prayers of gratitude for all of his many contributions to the seminary community.
As we sing and pray with Psalm 27, as we gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, with single-minded desires to seek after Him and to dwell in His house all our days, there is always the blessedness of sorrow. All change carries each of our hearts into tasting some type of sorrow. It may be the sorrow of change that comes from advancement and success. It may be the sorrow of change that is related to loss amid suffering family sickness. In faith, together as believers, we want to acknowledge this blessed sorrow, so as to receive the truth and beauty that is flowing from Jesus' Heart. We receive anew Jesus' words, "Blessed are the sorrowing for they shall be consoled" (Matthew 5:5). And, we have the assurance in Jesus' Spirit, "...Behold I make all things new" (Revelation 21:5). This is true for each of us personally as well as for the seminary and the Church at large. Let's pray for each other, to be able to taste more of Jesus' consoling love and care, amid any sorrow that accompanies these changes.
I ask that the needs that currently face us, the need for assistance in the Kenrick Registrar's office, and the need for a Latin teacher be commended to prayer. There are already some promising possibilities. If you have any ideas please call me with those suggestions.
With Archbishop Carlson's blessing some wonderful adjunct teachers have been hired for the courses that were slated to be taught by Dr. Madison. You will recognize several of the names:
* Metaphysics --- Dr. Lawrence Feingold
* Epistemology --- Fr. David Skillman
* Ancient Philosophy and Philosophical Anthropology --- Miss Beth Rath (a doctoral student at SLU)
* Medieval Philosophy and Philosophy of Nature --- Mr. Brian Cross (a doctoral student at SLU)
We give thanks for the talent, generosity and availability of these wonderful teachers.
It is important to note that Fr. James Swift, C.M., our new Director of Worship, and Mary Beth Wittry, our seminary Director of Sacred Music, have been engaged in creative planning for music at the seminary. I am confident of their leadership. Dr. Horst Buchholz, the Director of Music at the Cathedral-Basilia of St. Louis, who Mary Beth works with regularly, can be tapped as a rich resource as assistance is needed.
It is a special joy to share the news that Archbishop Carlson has approved the purchasing of a new electronic organ to enhance our worship in the new location. This will be used for music into the future until funds can be raised to restore the seminary pipe organ. Bids are being obtained for the restoration of the pipe organ.
I wish to especially thank Randy Rathert and Jim Kalkbrenner for their labors that continue a smooth transition and assure a readiness for the new school year. A special thanks is given to Anne Walter and Dr. Sebastian Mahfood for their long hours of service, bringing our technology up to par for the everyday needs of the seminary community. The entire support staff, maintenance, housekeeping, kitchen and administrative staff have walked the extra mile in recent weeks. I am very grateful for this generosity. Thank you!
A friendship is to be celebrated as a result of Bishop Rice having called his friend, Dennis Golden, the president of Fontbonne University. A gift was received, the gracious gift of Fontbonne's hospitality. Beginning last week we need only present a Kenrick-Glennon I.D. to gain access to Fontbonne's weight room and indoor track. We are grateful for this good neighborly hospitality. Thank you Bishop Rice!
In the coming weeks more details will be supplied to ease the transition back to Kenrick-Glennon at St. Mary's.
Be assured of my prayers as I also request yours. Together in faith we will taste and see the goodness of the Lord. Let's continue, in the grace of single-minded hearts, "... to seek to gaze upon the Lord's beauty... offering sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and chanting praise to the Lord" (Psalm 27). The year ahead promises to amaze us with gratitude.
In the Sacred Heart,
Fr. John Horn, S.J.