This year's annual Priests' Day at St. Patrick's Seminary was a wonderful event for clergy and seminarians alike. There was a steady stream of activities from the informal morning basketball game, followed by an interesting presentation by noted author Gil Bailie and early evening Mass celebrated by Bishop William J. Justice D.D. We concluded the event with a lively social and dinner, where we awarded the Patrician Award to Father Gary Thomas for his diligent efforts in ministry and unrelenting support of St. Patrick's Seminary. We also honored our 2018 Jubilarians from the Ordination Classes of 1958, 1968, 1978, and 1993.
A friendly yet competitive basketball game was the start of the festivities. Father George and a hearty bunch of priests and seminarians brave the hazy, smoky weather to play a game of full-court basketball. Amid the fast breaks and three-point shots, both teams played the hearts out for their respective teams – please look at the slideshow below for some photos. Also, on the court was Father Larry Goode, a St. Patrick's alum and pastor at St. Francis of Assisi Church in East Palo Alto. Despite a significant age difference, he was dribbling the ball downcourt as his team's playmaker (see slideshow). He also relayed how he used to play baseball on the field at the seminary in the mid-1950s!
Everyone was treated next to an excellent talk by author Gil Bailie, entitled A Simon of Cyrene Opportunity: Earning a Place in the Story. He started with a discussion of the present ecclesial crisis and how it "presents an opportunity to bear witness to Christ and to serve Our Lord and strive to purify his Church in ways that those living at less critical moments did not have." The priests (and possibly in the future our seminarians) are now (or will soon be) called fathers. However, it is a special fatherhood. Bailie proclaimed:
Your fatherhood is a sacramental charism bestowed on you by Christ and the ministers of his Church. It is meant to be procreative – no less so than is natural fatherhood. You are to produce offspring for Christ.
He also implored that, in executing this fatherly role, priests "will be weighed down, as Simon of Cyrene must surely have been, by the cross of social prejudice aroused by the current scandal involving untrustworthy priests." However, now more than ever, all priests need to rise up and take on the challenge by becoming "a testimony to the moral power of grace under hardship." You can download his entire speech here.
Mass was celebrated by St. Patrick's alum, Bishop William J. Justice D.D. along with many other clergy as concelebrants. He delivered a beautiful homily about the lesson of the story of Zacchaeus. The entire service had a solemn reverence of God.
The Priests' Day events end with a social and dinner in the refectory. Fr. George awarded the Patrician Award to Father Gary Thomas for his ongoing support of St. Patrick's Seminary. We also recognized our 2018 Jubilarians from the Ordination Classes of 1958, 1968, 1978, and 1993. You can view a slideshow of the entire day's events below.
Much thanks to everyone at St. Patrick's Seminary that made this incredibly successful event possible!