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Sunday, August 6, 2017

From our Seminarian, a report on his Pastoral Year

Hey Ted,

Just a quick update on the rest of my Summer. I complete my CPE Summer training session at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma and St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way at the end of next week. My last overnight, on-call, as the only chaplain at the hospital was Thursday night, my last verbatim (review of a patient encounter) was Wednesday, and my last daily rotation in the hospital will be Tuesday.  Yeah for the end. It has been an intense Summer. Since I am not paid, I guess that you could say that my time was voluntary, though I have to be here for formation reasons. If you wanted to count it, I averaged 50-hours a week for the last 11-weeks.

I am taking some time off for vacation with the family starting Friday 11th, but have to swing through Portland before heading back to Rome on August 29. I plan to be at the first Mass at St. Clare’s August 26.  Father knows that I will be there and I plan to serve as acolyte at the Mass. Please let others know that I will be in attendance, and that I hope to see as many people as possible.

As stated above, I fly back to Rome on the 29th of August, Starting the first Monday of September, we have two weeks of training on Marriage prep and other how to officiate the Sacrament, then some other stuff. I will be on a silent retreat from the 17th to 23rd, and then preparing, God willing, for my ordination to the Diaconate at St Peter’s Basilica on the 28th of September. I am still waiting for my official letter from Archbishop Sample, but I was given a verbal call to orders earlier this Summer. Please ask the Knights to keep me in their prayers, and as I will have you all in mine during the retreat. I will email a link to a website with photos, as well as post some on facebook.

I have been given my Pastoral assignment for next year, which is to serve at the US Naval Support Base outside Naples Italy, which I did my third year of theology. I will be down there for a weekend every three to four weeks. This time I will be able to do more at Mass and will be proclaiming the Gospel and doing the homily at one of the weekend Masses during each visit. I don’t think that Deacons have house jobs, except maybe to give tours, but I won’t find out for sure till I return to Rome.

Archbishop has approved my studies at the Angelicum again, this time to get my STL (Sacred Theology License) in Spiritual Theology. This was far off my radar, as at first I thought to do Moral Theology, and as recently as last September planned to petition for Thomistic studies - as in Thomas Aquinas. My thought was a paper on Thomas’ notion of marriage, specifically, the spiritual nature of marriage. Late September, I read part of the book “On Love” by Bernard Clairvaux. This caused me to look at expanding my paper topic to look specifically at what makes a Catholic marriage a Catholic marriage - or what is the spiritual nature of marriage. This would allow me to incorporate Bernard’s writings, but moved me out of Thomistic studies. Spiritual Theology seems the best fit for the paper idea I have, and on reflection may prepare me to be a better priest, as I think one of the priests more important roles is to help people have a relationship with God and that is what spiritual theology is all about.

Please pass this information on to the Knights. I apologise that I only made the one meeting whilst on Pastoral year, but it was a busy year, and I was working to set up a Men’s group at STM. Father King hopes that maybe someday it will develop into a Knights group.

Your servant in Christ,

Rick LeFaivre

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