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GRADUATE ASSOCIATION Seminary of the Immaculate Conception No. 7

Advent 2010

The Graduate Association’s mission is to nurture mutually beneficial relationships among alumni/nae and maintain ties to the Seminary, to provide opportunities to enhance our theological training and stimulate spiritual growth, and to be of service to one another, the Seminary, the Church and the wider community.

Graduate Association Annual Communion Breakfast Saturday, November 13, 2010 9:30 AM in the Seminary Main Chapel

Fr. Andrzej Zglejszewski Director of the Office of Worship Presider Followed by breakfast in the Dining Room Suggested donation $20 per person — guests welcome RSVP by Nov. 5

An Advent Reflection A few years ago I took a deep breath and entered a year of spiritual direction following the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. I was assigned to an amazing woman at the Cenacle, Sr. Judy Osterberg, as my director through this year and it felt like a match made in heaven. It wasn‟t always smooth sailing, I know it was like pulling teeth getting me to express my experiences of my prayer sometimes but she was patient and over time it became easier for me. The scripture passages I was assigned followed more or less the liturgical year, so I found myself reading the nativity stories by late November. I pondered them as usual following the prompts of St Ignatius and it was a beautiful and timeless experience, but it wasn‟t until I was sitting with Sr Judy that I realized I had experienced what I can only describe as an unreported truth within the stories. That is, I both knew there must have been a midwife, and felt myself as the midwife, who attended Mary at the birth of Jesus. Can you imagine Joseph not running to the nearest village as Mary‟s time drew near and banging on doors looking for the local midwife? It became more clear to me that there must have been another woman there, one who encouraged and coaxed the tiny baby into the world of air and sights and sounds and smells and tastes. One who perhaps caught the slippery infant in her trained hands and then lifted Him to his mother‟s arms. A wise woman tasked with the role of midwifing God‟s incarnate presence for the world. I have never forgotten this nor have I ever forgotten the idea that I am called also to be a midwife for Jesus in the world. I need to assist in the birthing of the awareness of Christ as the very Presence and Love and Word of God here on this planet in this human condition. I am reminded of a quote from Meister Eckhardt, “We are all called to be mothers of God for God is always needing to be born.” In ministry we so often find ourselves in a position of coaxing people to an Continued on p. 2




The Seminary Has a New Journal! An interview with Dr. Michael Hoonhaut

open access online journal of this caliber that we have found” noted Ms. Hayes.

The Seminary of the Immaculate Conception now has its very own online theological and pastoral journal, The Seat of Wisdom, at The journal, reflects the theological „conversation‟ and scholarship taking place within the faith community of the Seminary as well as showcases the fruits of the work at the Seminary.

The Seat of Wisdom is a peer reviewed journal with a variety of content. The first issue contains research articles written by Dr. Hoonhout and Msgr. Henning, lectures by Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I. of Chicago and our own Bishop William Murphy, a homily by Msgr. Charles Fink, a faculty essay from Dr. Katherine Hayes, as well as two student essays, poetry and book reviews. “Each issue will also contain a piece in a language other than English to reflect the fact that the Church is multi-cultural, as well as to give an opportunity to people to publish in another language, since part of the audience the journal will reach would be overseas, especially in countries like Ghana and Uganda, South Korea and Asia, who have sent seminarians to study at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception,” said Dr. Hoonhout.

“The journal came into being through the suggestion of our rector, Msgr. Vaccari” said Dr. Michael Hoonhout, who is the general editor of the journal. A committee was formed to study the feasibility of Msgr. Vaccari‟s proposal, and after many meetings, consultations and hard work, The Seat of Wisdom was launched, with the debut of its first issue coinciding with the Seminary Convocation and Graduation ceremonies in May. “As well as making the Seminary better known to a wider community, the journal portrays the vitality of the Seminary, as well as aiding the Seminary in fulfilling its mission of forming men for priesthood, permanent deaconate and lay persons for ministry within the Church, since formation is intellectual, spiritual and pastoral,” said Dr. Hoonhout. Along with Dr. Hoonhout, Msgr. Henning and Elyse Hayes comprise the editorial board of the journal. “Very few diocesan seminaries have journals” said Ms. Hayes. The Seat of Wisdom is unique because it publishes both faculty and student pieces, rather than being either an academic journal or a showcase of seminarian work. “The faculty felt a print journal would be too costly and that an online journal would be more practical,” said Ms. Hayes. “I think that the journal being published exclusively online from the beginning is a very unique feature, and gives it advantages over print such as open access, no subscription and an international audience” said Dr. Hoonhout. “Open access helps to keep the flow of scholarship going. There is no other awareness of their awesome creatureliness, as made in God‟s image. In fact, whatever we do, we never journey alone. We always travel with others, and our interactions must continually bear the fruit of „birthing‟ Christ yet again, over and over, ever deeper, ever more present, until our earthly heart stops beating and our life continues as part of the Communion of Saints. Yet even then we continue as midwives of Christ for all humankind. Cathy Roberts, MA‘98

BRAIN TEASER Pope John XXIII (Vatican II) was the first pope in over 500 years to pick the name “John”. Since there were so many named “John” before him, why had no pope taken that name for centuries? Also why was there confusion as to whether he was to be known as John XXIII or John XXIV? Submitted by Tom Silvestri, MA ‘06 ( Answer on P. 3)

While the Seat of Wisdom journal is especially interested in showcasing work from students, alumni and faculty, the editors also hope that it can become an outlet for faculty and students from other seminaries to publish the best of their work. (For those interested in submitting an item for review, submission guidelines are posted on the website). The journal will publish two issues a year, the next one expected January 1st, with another to follow June 1st. “The journal gets its name from the Blessed Virgin Mary, patroness of the Seminary, under the title that expresses the goal of theological learning, which is Wisdom,” said Dr. Hoonhout. “In imitation of her the journal would be a place of theological wisdom, a seat for Christ and his truth in the world today”. Please be sure to read The Seat of Wisdom and to tell others who may be unaware of it to check it out at You don‟t want to miss it! Christine Torns, MA ‘08

Pilgrimage to Ephesus and Mary’s House “Come and see what I have done, I‟ve given my only son. He lived for you and he died for you. Come and see.” Tom Kendzia‟s Pieta echoed in my ears as we ascended the mountain approaching Meryem Ana Evi, the remains of the house where the Virgin Mary is thought to have spent her last years with the disciple John, in Ephesus, Turkey. Often the Lord speaks to me in hymns and today was no exception. We, my sister Tracy and youngest daughter Seanna, were on the fifth day of our trip, a quasi pilgrimage. In Istanbul we discovered two Roman Catholic Churches, but neither celebrated weekday Masses. In Capadoccia we entered many cave churches, replete with colorful frescoes depicting scenes from the New Testament, remnants of places Christians worshipped secretly in the sixth through ninth centuries. Finally we arrived in Ephesus on Sunday, August 16, the day after the Feast of the Assumption of the

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Ministry Focus

FDLC and Preparing for the Revised Translation

With the coming of the revised English translation of the Roman Missal, those who are involved in parishes in the area of liturgical ministry are going to have an exciting year. With an implementation date of Nov. 27, 2011, this gives us a little over a year to update ourselves and to catechize our parishioners. There are many online resources but one of the best, although probably one of the least known, is the web site of the FDLC, the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions. This national organization has been in the forefront of the development of catechetical materials for the revised English translation and has worked closely with the Bishops Committee on Divine Worship (BCDW) in presenting over 20 workshops for priests and diocesan leaders around the country to introduce the revised texts, and in developing packaged workshops for priest and parishes which include DVD Video and PowerPoint presentations as well as written material, handouts and a leader guide that are easy to use in parishes in large or small group settings. This October, Fr Andrjez Zglejszewski, Chris Ferraro and myself, as members or the RVC Liturgy Commission, attended the national meeting with over 200 members of diocesan liturgy commissions, the secretariat of the BCDW, Bishop Arthur Serratelli (chair of the BCDW) and Bishop Ron Herzog, Bishop of Alexandria, Louisiana who is a BCDW committee member, long time member of the FDLC and was the gracious host of this year‟s meeting which was held in Alexandria. Speaking at the meeting were Fr. Paul Turner and Msgr. Kevin Irwin, two top liturgical scholars whose writings should be somewhat familiar. The revision of the text was a long and arduous process, but thanks to the hard work of the BCDW and FDLC, we will be ready for the Advent 2011 implementation date. You will be hearing more about diocesan efforts, workshops, meetings and materials this spring. If you are interested in obtaining some of the FDLC materials for use in your parish, the web-site for the FDLC is Jo-Ann Metzdorff, MA ‘98, DMin ‘07 Ephesus— continued from p. 1

Blessed Virgin Mary. As we entered the house now attached to a small chapel, with a throng of other tourists, emotion overtook me. Tears streamed from my eyes. I wanted to stay and pray, but we were herded through like cattle. However, I was afforded an opportunity the following day. Early Monday morning my sister and I set out. Again as the car took us up the mountain, I heard, “he lived for you and he died for you, come and see;” upon reaching the site, “here in this place new light is streaming, now is the darkness vanished away;” and entering the house, “shepherd me oh God, from all my wants, from all my fears, from death into life.” The place was cool and peaceful at this early hour. Unlike the previous day, Tracy and I were alone except for two nuns and a monk preparing the altar for Mass. Soon, two other monks and a priest entered. I do not remember what hymns we sang, but there was an otherworldly quality about the sound of a cappella voices. Again I felt Mary‟s presence and tears welled. The gospel was that of the wealthy young man who asks Jesus what he must do to enter the kingdom of God and when told to sell everything, give to the poor and follow Him, went away sad for he had many possessions. The Answer to brain teaser from P. 2

priest spoke in soft Italian, for us it is not many things that separate us from God, but rather one thing - one sin. And I knew the sin for me involves disobedience, the antithesis of Mary‟s fiat! As we descended her mountain I knew she had touched me and something within had shifted. Robin Senior, MA ‘06

Do you get E-mail from the Seminary or the Graduate Association? The Graduate Association has quite a number of alumni e-mail addresses, but we know there are many we don‟t have. If you haven‟t been receiving e-mails from the GA please send your e-mail address to Tom Silvestri at

Good News Grace Marie Ferraro was born on March 18, 2010 to Cathy and Chris Ferraro, MA‟99, MAPS „07 Cliff Riccio became a grandfather for the first time to Clifford M. Riccio III born in January 2009 If you have some good news to share,- a marriage, birth, new job or anything else—please send it to Jo-Ann Metzdorff at, and we will include it in the newsletter.

At the beginning of the Western Schism (1409-1415) when there were two popes, the Council of Pisa, headed by a laity Papal legate Baldassare Cossa, was convened to end the schism. Instead a new pope, Alexander V, was elected at this Council. The two other popes, Gregory XII and Benedict XIII ignored the decision resulting in three simultaneous popes. Well, Alexander V died soon thereafter and Cossa managed to have himself consecrated pope, having been ordained a priest only one day earlier, and he took the name John XXIII. He was acknowledged as pope of France, England, Prussia and parts of the Holy Roman Empire from 1410-1415. John was deposed in 1415 by the Council of Constance, undertaken mainly to end the Western Schism and remove all three popes. A person considered of questionable moral character and unscrupulous methods, John was accused of “the gravest offenses” by the council and after his abdication was again known as Baldassare Cossa. Vatican II Pope John XXIII took the name, John XXIII, and not John XXIV, affirming the antipapal status of Antipope John XXIII and perhaps, expressing healing and unity in the Roman Catholic Church.


From the Graduate Association President As our Newsletter goes to print we are about to celebrate the Eightieth Anniversary of our beloved Seminary. Priests for the Diocese of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre have received their formation here since 1930 and we laity have earned our Masters and Doctoral degrees here since 1977. Over 800 lay persons have graduated from these programs. The festivities will commence with Vespers beginning at 4:00 P.M. in the Chapel. Bishop William Murphy will preside and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio will give the homily. A cocktail reception and dinner follow immediately after. We are honoring the Seminarians, and these talented men will provide the entertainment. The Graduate Association congratulates the Seminary and wishes all involved well. We have had two members of our Board leave. We thank Annabelle Rufino and Deacon Bob Kruse for their gift of time and selfless service to our board. New members have joined us, Meg Assip, Jane Clifford, and Christine Torns. Welcome. Cris O‟Keef has completed her term as President. Thank Cris for a job well done. She will remain

on the board. This year Gerri Lehr will serve as President, Robin Senior Vice President, Tom Silvestri as Treasurer, Cathy Roberts as Secretary and Jo-Ann Metzdorff as Newsletter Editor. Our Newsletter has a new column in which we are asking you to share with us your good news, such as, a new child or grandchild, a new job, a new degree, perhaps an engagement or wedding. Please send this information to Jo-Ann Metzdorff at On November 13 we will hold our annual Communion Breakfast. This has been a very successful and well received event in the past. Father Andrzej Zglejszewski will be our Presider. While I know weekends are busy for all of us, please consider joining us for this occasion. Advent is fast approaching, probably the busiest time of the year, but a time that the Church asks us to slow down and prepare for Christmas. Take the time this Advent to slow down and spend some time in quiet prayer. Maranantha, Come, Lord Jesus, Come. Gerri Lehr, MA 98, DMin‘07

Graduate Association Board of Directors Meg Assip, M.A. ‘10 Cathy Roberts, M.A. ‘98, Secretary Jane Clifford, M.A. ‘08 Robin G. Senior, M.A. ‘06, Vice-President Dan Friel, M.A. ’07 Tom Silvestri, M.A. ‘06, Treasurer Gerri Lehr, M.A. ‘98, D.Min. ‘07, President Christine Torns, M.A. '08. Jo-Ann Metzdorff, M.A. ‘98, D.Min. ‘07, Newsletter Editor Bro. Mark Waldman, M.A. ‘07 Cris O’Keefe, M.A. ‘07, Past President Sr. Mary Louise Brink S.C., Academic Dean, ex offico member

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Fall 2010 Newsletter  
Fall 2010 Newsletter  

Graduate Association of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, NY