In the beginning, and thereafter, what “impels” the Apostles is always “the love of Christ”. Innumerable missionaries, throughout the centuries, as faithful servants of the Church, docile to the action of the Holy Spirit, have followed in the footsteps of the first disciples. Although every disciple of Christ, as far in him lies, has the duty of spreading the faith, Christ the Lord always calls whomever He will from among the number of His disciples, to be with Him and to be sent by Him to preach to the nations. In fact, the love of Christ must be communicated to the world by example and words with all one’s life. The special vocation of the priesthood is the model of the Church’s missionary commitment, which always stands in need of true victimhood.
Among those totally dedicated to the service of the Church’s mission are our priests, who are called to preach the Gospel to all souls they meet, many of whom have still not had a real encounter with Jesus Christ. These priests, these men who stand “in persona Christi”, offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, administer the sacraments, pass on the traditions of the Church, and help those in need of temporal and spiritual care.
There have always been in the Church many men and women who, prompted by the action of the Holy Spirit, choose to live the Gospel in a profound way, professing the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. However, in the service of man we must not forget the service to God. With continual and community prayer, common life, and the ancient sacrifice of the Mass to sustain us, we aim, with our many charitable activities, to bring to all a true and uncompromising witness of the charity and mercy of God and to offer to Him in return the ineffable gift of His only Son.
Vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life can only flourish in a spiritual soil that is well cultivated. Catholic families that live according to the customs and practices of our faith are the good soil upon which the seeds of a vocation can take root. We pray every day to the Holy Spirit for the gift of vocations. Gathered around the Virgin Mary, Mother of Priests, as in the beginning, we learn from her how to implore the Lord for a flowering of new apostles, alive with the faith, zealous for souls, and devoted to the ancient traditions of the Church.
Before a man can give himself to God’s people, he must first give himself completely to God. Therefore, unlike many other religious institutions, we prefer to form our men away from the distractions of modern life so that they might better contemplate the divine mysteries.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary is purposely built in the rural fields of Nebraska and is home to both our four-year philosophy school and our three-year theology department. During our seven- year program, our men are formed in the ways and methods of the great saints and doctors of the Church, particularly St. Thomas Aquinas.
Common prayer and common life are at the heart of our Fraternity, and so great emphasis is placed on the recitation of the Divine Office and community recreation. As with all that we do, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, together with every aspect of the ancient liturgy, is lived and breathed at our seminary. In fact, as a seminarian once said, “Here you forget it’s Monday or Tuesday. Here we live by the eternal calendar of the Church, moving from saints’ day to saints’ day.”
This way of thinking is not unusual in the history of the Church but is unfashionable in our modern times. By returning to a more tried and tested formula, we provide a more stable progression towards forming holy priests, so much so, that we make use of the Minor Orders (Porter, Lector, Exorcist, Acolyte) to promote in our seminarians the true and august nature of the priesthood and all its various facets.
Lord Jesus, High Priest and universal Shepherd, Thou hast taught us to pray, saying: “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into His harvest” [Matthew 9:38]. Therefore, we beseech Thee graciously to hear our supplications and raise up many generous souls who, inspired by Thy example and supported by Thy grace, may conceive the ardent desire to enter the ranks of Thy sacred ministers in order to continue the office of Thy one true priesthood.