Fridays I try to reserve for myself but today is not going to be one of those days, th0ugh I do hope I can get to my first RAYS game tonight. Some general responses to comments which many of you have taken the time to share with me over the past weeks and months. It is impossible for me to respond to all of them but some response seems apropos. I do not consider this a blog, as you know, where comments are posted. I read them, take them seriously, sometimes respond to them generically without publishing them specifically.
First, thanks to all who read this blog. The number of people visiting each day is on a steady increase and I know that many check it out intermittently. We can tell where the readers are from (general location) and how long they remain on the blog site (the longer time usually means someone comes intermittently and thus takes more time to read its contents). I do not consider it my duty to blog every day although sometimes it may appear that way.
I was pleasantly surprised at the response level of support in favor of the position of restraint which I tried to take on the Notre Dame graduation issue. Thank you for that and thanks also to those who respectfully disagreed. From the beginning all I hoped for was a civilized discussion/debate.
One reader mentioned the loss of THE FLORIDA CATHOLIC and asked what we were planning as a vehicle for delivering “news” of the diocese, especially clergy assignments, etc. We hope our web page will be the major manner of communicating to all who can access it through the electronic media.
That so many of you loved the ordination of Father Melchior brought a return of tears of gratitude and happiness. Also, the blog on the virtue of hope seems to have struck a responsive chord in a number of readers.
So let me end with some good news for a change. The vocations to the priesthood picture brightens considerably this year as we have accepted about eight into the seminary to join the twenty-four we currently have. For the first time since 1988 we have more than thirty seminarians and this year will be the third best year for the number of seminarians since 1984. Thirty-nine is the highest number in the forty year history of the diocese (1983-84). I attribute that grace to several factors: God’s blessings and favor, a good vocation director who works the job hard, and the quality of our present seminarians who attract those discerning a vocation. It also helps that only Father Carl Melchior left the seminary this Spring (understand that properly now!) while for the first time in my memory, all others are remaining in formation for next year. Finally, your prayers help a lot. The media this morning is filled with a story of a priest who felt he needed to leave the Church of his ordination. Not enough attention is paid to those who choose to remain and serve. Soon, if it is God’s will, there may be more of them.