Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Over the years, I’ve discovered that I am generally more comfortable and better with doing something the second time around. Rather than experiencing the dreaded Sophomore Slump, I tend to excel more if I’ve already had the chance to do it before. Year 2 of College, of Seminary, of a parish assignment have all gone smoother than Year 1. For me, the sequel almost always surpasses the original.

Why bring this up? Well, because there is something coming up that I’ll be doing for the second time in the near future. This summer we will be hosting a seminarian from the Diocese of Trenton. His name is Chris Ziegler and he is just finishing up his second year of theology at Mount St. Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. You may recall that we also had a seminarian last summer.

Having a seminarian in our parish is something that I consider a privilege. While it does add a bit more to my plate to supervise someone through part of the summer, I welcome the chance to help a young man in his formation process and learn what it means to be a diocesan priest. Since I’m getting a second one, I guess I didn’t do too badly the first time. Though an extra prayer or two for me and Chris is greatly appreciated.

What I consider to be the bigger compliment in hosting a seminarian is what it says about our parish community. There are over one hundred parishes in the diocese and around twenty seminarians. There are many places that could play host and help these young men learn, but St. Charles is being selected specifically. That speaks, I think, to the vibrancy and faith found in our community. We are being recognized as a positive
place for seminarians to grow and learn.

Truth be told, I fear that I lose sight of how wonderful you, the People of God, are at St. Charles Borromeo. With all the things that take my time and attention, it can be lost in the shuffle how good, and prayerful, and committed this parish has proven and continues to be. Thank you for being a part of this family of faith.

I am confident that you will welcome Chris with open arms in his time here. He’ll hit the ground running, arriving just as the Carnival kicks off. Please be the kind and loving community that I know you to be and I’m sure Chris will have an excellent summer with us.
Peace and Goodness,
Fr. Dan