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On Mary’s Mountain


  The Daily Life of The Seminary Community
   Date: Nov 2013

Twenty-seven seminarians in the 3rd Theology class received candidacy in a November 22 Mass celebrated by Philadelphia’s Auxiliary Bishop, Barry Daniel E. Thomas.

Candidacy Mass

The admission to candidacy rite offers the candidates for ordination the opportunity to publicly express their intention to receive ordination as a deacon and later as a priest. Before the ceremony, the seminarians composed letters to their respective bishops, petitioning to be received as a candidate for sacred orders. In receiving candidacy, the seminarian acknowledges that he must care for his vocation in a renewed way, both in prayer and study.

Candidacy Mass

Further, he acknowledges he is making this petition of his own free will. The bishop receives the seminarian on behalf of the Church. A number of family and friends attended the ceremony and joined the entire Mount community in congratulating these men who will be ordained in just a few short months.

On the evening of Thursday November 14, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary hosted a concert at Immaculate Conception Chapel performed by the world renowned organist, Christopher Houlihan.

Organ Recital

The concert marked the first time a public performance was played on the chapel’s organ which was purchased and installed in 2009 through the generous efforts of the Knights of Columbus.

Organ Recital

The community was privileged to experience the concert by Christopher Houlihan, a graduate of the Julliard School, who is regarded as one of the world’s premier organists. Houlihan has received high regards from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times.

Organ Recital

In addition to his preparation at Julliard, he also studied at the French National Regional Conservatory in Versailles where he earned the “Prix de Perfectionnement” (equivalent to a university artist’s diploma in the US). He also served as assistant musician at the American Cathedral in Paris where he had the honor of performing for then President and Mrs. George W. Bush. Mount St. Mary’s was honored to have a musician of such repute play on our organ.

The Mount again began the month of November, traditionally dedicated to the poor souls in purgatory, with two days of solemn liturgical celebrations. Actually the events began on the eve of Thursday October 31st with Vespers I of All Saint’s Day celebrated in the seminary’s St. Bernard’s Chapel. The next day a festive Holy Day Mass was celebrated in the afternoon honoring all of the heavenly elect, especially asking their intercession for us here on earth. 

All Souls Mass

Then Saturday morning, November 2nd, Feast of All Soul’s, the Mount continued the ancient tradition renewed a few years ago of offering three Masses for the poor souls in purgatory. At 7:30 AM and 12 PM, the seminarians had the option of attending a Requiem Low Mass offered in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite by Fr. Lee Gross, the Mount’s Dean of Men and liturgical expert. Additionally, at 9 AM the entire community was obliged to attend a solemn Mass in the Novus Ordo offered at the Grotto Shrine’s Glass Chapel. The yearly All Soul’s Day Mass at the Glass Chapel is a revered ritual at the Mount cherished by many seminarians each year.

All Souls Mass

Following the Mass at the Grotto, the seminary’s custom of processing as a community to the university’s cemetery was renewed where prayers were offered for the dead, particularly those deceased members of the Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and University community.

All Souls Mass

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