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Seminarian Resources During Remote Instruction

Remote Formation Message

A message from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary Rector/Vice President Rev. Msgr. Andrew R. Baker, S.T.D., on the first day of priestly formation being delivered remotely.

Resources are available for remote instruction in each of these areas:

Human Formation

Dear Seminarians,

Pursuant to the Rector’s most recent directive, indicating the departure of all seminarians from the Mount for the duration of the spring semester 2020, and the commencement of remote instruction and formation on Wednesday, March 25th, I hasten to share with you the following guideposts for your ongoing formation advisee/advisor relationship as we go forward:

  1. Regular formation advising must continue with your formation advisor, albeit remotely. In other words, please do arrange to “meet” with your advisor via a phone call, or Skype, or Face Time, etc… (in whichever mode of communication is mutually convenient), at least three (3) more times before the end of the semester (mid-May), at regular intervals. To this end, I encourage you to reach out to your formation advisor by phone or email shortly after you arrive and are settle back in your diocese, and no later than next Wednesday, March 25th, to make such arrangements. This protocol applies to all seminarians, including those who may have already submitted their SFEs to their advisors. I know it goes without saying, but being a protagonist in your own priestly formation must be ongoing, especially during these trying times.
  2. Your final evaluation (SFE) must still be submitted to your formation advisor according to the Formation Team Schedule:
      • All 1T and 2T SFEs were due to formation advisors on Monday, February 17th
      • All P1 and P2 SFEs were due to formation advisors on Monday, March 23rd

    If needed, and given the circumstances, there can be some flexibility with the due date for P1 & P2 SFEs. I would ask, however, that should you need an extension that you be proactive in informing your formation advisor. Extensions for these submissions of SFE should not exceed one week.

  3. Seminarians who may be engaged in regular counseling/therapy at Vital Sources in Frederick should make arrangements for “teletherapy” or similar modes of contact with their clinician while away from the Mount, as appropriate. Formation advisors should be aware of any such arrangements.
  4. Please feel free to contact me or Susie with any questions or concerns as we go forward. Notwithstanding these difficult circumstances, your formation must continue. I exhort each of you to be steadfast in your approach to this effort. Let us continue to pray for one another.

Msgr. Anthony Frontiero

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Spiritual Formation

  1. Spiritual Direction – Keeping in contact with your spiritual director is more important now than ever. When classes recommenced on March 25, spiritual direction did as well, with the regular three week intervals. However, feel free to reach out anytime to your director or ask to speak with him more frequently. This is a vital, fixed reference point for you and, God willing, a big help to making the current challenges produce abundant fruit.
  2. Confession – You will have to find a local confessor. Choose someone who is accessible yet not responsible for you, as the pastor with whom you live would be. If possible, find one priest to whom you can confess consistently.
  3. Spiritual Director Conferences – These will continue on certain Thursdays, as usual. Look for one on April 2 and one on May 7.
  4. Personal Rule of Life – As soon as possible, draft for yourself a personal rule of life, as similar to that of the seminary as possible. For instance, if Mass is at 8:30 for you now, don’t start waking up at 8:00! As many classes are not interactive, you have more flexibility, but don’t use that to move your Mental Prayer later. Try to make a schedule that is similar each day with times for the Liturgy of the Hours, Spiritual reading, Examen and Rosary. Structure will be a big help to keeping productive and happy.
  5. Maintain community – Although the seminary community has been separated physically, we must not get isolated. Try arranging to pray the Rosary or the Breviary online with classmates or continuing with virtual small group meetings. Do try to participate in online offerings that you will receive from the Mount, like the Stations of the Cross.
  6. Friends of St. Joseph – You can still join at any time. Your new schedule and circumstances may be good reasons to consider this. Just contact Msgr. Cummings.
  7. Stay in touch – Don’t hesitate to contact Msgr. Cummings with any questions, concerns or simply to say ‘hello’: 301-447-5507 (for texting – cell: 410-900-5910).
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Academics / Intellectual Formation

During the period of remote delivery of formation, you are responsible to check your Mount email multiple times a day.

Check Canvas regularly in regard to your classes - this is the principal means your professor will make use of to deliver course content.

Be aware that each professor will deliver content differently, so be engaged and in communication with each of your professors. It is their obligation to contact you and reach out to you (via email, Canvas, or some other form of remote delivery) and your obligation to follow up with them.

Should you have any issues or concerns, please contact Seminary Academic Dean Msgr. Michael Heintz at heintz@msmary.edu.

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Pastoral Formation

Fratelli, since there is no active PFE assignments for the rest of the semester, I do ask you to fill out the form that will be emailed to you. It is a brief evaluation of your PFE this year. This is to help ascertain which assignments to keep, to drop, or to adapt.

Those of you who are living in a parish rectory, please ask the pastor if there are parishioners you can CALL ON THE PHONE, especially elderly, infirm, home bound, etc., and talk to them and pray with them. A 15-30 minute call to someone who gets few if any calls from family and friends will be greatly appreciated. You can be pastoral even by remote. Let people know you care and that you are praying for them. If you are not in a rectory, contact the local parish or your home parish, PFE assignment, etc. Get a list and contact these folks. Email me at trigilio@msmary.edu or call 301-447-5583 or text 717-991-0058.

Fr. John Trigilio, Jr.

Spiritual Communion Prayer

Suggested prayers for Spiritual Communion when calling parishioners on the phone. Use either one.

My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love you above all things and I desire to receive you in my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally,
Come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace you as if you were already there
And unite myself wholly to you.
Never permit me to be separated from you.
Amen.

– or –

My Lord and My God.
I believe that You are here, that You see me, that You hear me.
I adore You with profound reverence, I ask Your pardon for my sins
And the grace to spend this time of prayer fruitfully.
My Immaculate Mother, St. Joseph, my father and lord,
my guardian angel, intercede for me.
Amen.

Readings and Resources

Text of pope's prayer to Mary during coronavirus pandemic

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Responds to Coronavirus

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Covid-19: A Prayer of Solidarity

EWTN Watch Live

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Additional Resources

Dear Seminarians,

Below you’ll find diagrams of the room plan of each hall. These are for your own reference and planning – you do NOT fill them out. But watch for an announcement of room selection forms. If you intend to return, you MUST fill out a selection form. More details in a couple weeks. May God bless you all and grant us an end to this plague!

Fr. Gross

McSweeny | Keating | Mulcahy | Gallagher

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