January 22, 2018
As I sit down to write this chronicle it’s Monday afternoon, January 22nd, the 45th Anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that brought infamy to our nation: the “right” to abortion. That means it’s “March for Life Weekend” minus one. Echoes of “Ole, ole, ole, Pro-Life, ole!” still resound in my ears. Images of crowds, whether they be filling the National Basilica for the Vigil Mass for Life or marching down Constitution Ave towards the Supreme Court Building or packing the parish hall at St. John Baptist de la Salle for the Winter Youth Festival, flash through my memory. And still today, that strange “Indian summer” as some call it around here in Washington, DC, lingers in the air. It’s the day after March for Life Weekend here at the seminary, and oh, what a weekend it was!
On December 12th, 1531, the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, desired to make herself known to the people of Mexico. She appeared to St. Juan Diego, whom she called her “dear little son”. In 1999, Saint John Paul the Great declared Our Lady of Guadalupe to be the patroness of the entire American Continent. This year, on the occasion of such an important Marian Feast Day, the Venerable Fulton Sheen House of Formation celebrated the conferral of minor orders.
On the same day the universal Church celebrated the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle, 4 IVE seminarians from the Province of the Immaculate Conception solemnly professed their first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Also included in the Mass, 12 novices received their new habits and 18 seminarians renewed their profession of vows.
Jesus said, “Get away, Satan!! …‘The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.’” (Mt. 4: 10). When a Perpetual Adoration Chapel is begun in a parish, you could say that these words of Our Savior are repeated. It is a type of exorcism. On the other hand, in these times when so many parishes are locked for most of the day or week, granting access to the Eucharist is surely no small thing. Before he was the Holy Father, Benedict XVI affirmed that “today we run the risk of having our churches turned into museums and ending like museums: If they are not closed, they are pillaged. They have no life. The measure of the Church’s vitality, the measure of its interior openness, will be reflected in the fact that its doors remain open, precisely because it is a church where there is constant prayer.” 
The seminarians of the Institute of the Incarnate Word at the Venerable Fulton Sheen House of Formation are back home to kick-off the new Academic Year! This last summer the seminarians were engaged in many apostolates and activities, such as three popular missions, 30-day spiritual exercises, intensive philosophy courses, and convivencia in Wyoming. It is always a great bless for the seminarians to start a new Academic Year, to return to the studies of philosophy, theology, language, scripture, history, etc.. St. Peter reminds us the importance of studying, “Be ready always with an answer to everyone who asks a reason for the hope that is in you”. (1 Pt. 3:15)