by Deacon Craig Marion
Msgr. John Hall is a resident spiritual director at the seminary, but to those of us that know him best, he is a spiritual father and a friend in Christ.
Monsignor Hall could have spent that last eighteen years retired and living on the sandy shores of the East or West Coasts enjoying a good game of golf several times each week. Instead, he has been here at Sacred Heart, first as a part-time spiritual director and assisting at parishes, but for the last ten years he has been with the seminarians full time. His love for the seminarians and the seminary is evident to anyone he encounters.
Monsignor is available as a confessor literally around-the-clock, and he is always happy to offer pastoral guidance to seminarians, lay students, and staff members. His love for the priesthood is also clear. Monsignor is humble, kind, and above all a loving servant to the Church. In his sixty-one years of priestly ministry, he has served in numerous capacities as an associate pastor, a hospital chaplain, a parish pastorbut most importantly he considers himself a friend in Christ.
As he nears the age of ninety, Monsignor Hall is still willing to head to the hospital for an anointing. After hearing someone's confession, he will bring all the family back together in the hospital room and celebrate the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and then offer Communion to those able to receive. Msgr. John Hall is a priest's priest.
Recently, the seminarians came together to acknowledge Monsignor's long-time and selfless ministry to the Church. The men presented him with a beautiful framed print of St. Peter by the Spanish artist El Greco. With tears in his eyes, Monsignor told that seminarians gathered with the resident priests that he loved us and would always do anything he could for us.
We the Sacred Heart seminarians are grateful that Monsignor Hall is with us on our paths towards answering the Lord's call to serve him. Personally, as a fourth-year theology student, I remain indebted to Monsignor Hall for the kindness he as always shown me. He was my spiritual director for my first two years of formation, and he has directed me personally in silent retreats since being in graduate theology. I owe much of my skills in how to listen attentively and show Jesus' love to others to Monsignor Hall.
The seminarians promise him our prayers and our deep gratitude. Msgr. John Hall is our role model and our friend.
Deacon Craig MarionDeacon Craig Marion is a fourth-year graduate seminarian. He is scheduled to be ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit in May 2017.