Dear Friends in Christ,
In chapters 9 and 10 of the Gospel according to Luke, we read that Jesus sent the Twelve and the Seventy-two into mission. They are to go out and proclaim the Kingdom of God. For the apostles and the larger group of disciples, the mission cannot have the distractions of ordinary items like a walking stick, sack, food, or money! As instructed, the apostles and disciples went from village to village doing what the Master had asked of them. Following the mission, the Twelve and disciples return to Jesus. They shared all they had done, and they rejoice with Jesus.
In similar fashion, as part of our seminarians’ pastoral formation, they are being sent into our parish communities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ as part of a new Field Education Project. This program has been coordinated with a number of parishes across the Archdiocese of Detroit to provide outreach, the joy of the Word of God, during this difficult time. The seminarians are traveling through the neighborhoods of parishes to bring Jesus Christ and His Gospel message. This work of mission, good will, and evangelization is worth celebrating as the apostles and disciples did with Jesus upon their return from mission. Like in the Gospel, our seminarians begin their weekly excursion in prayer, with and before Jesus, and return to share the graces they have witness with Jesus when their outreach has concluded.
Since the beginning of this academic year, more than 20 seminarians have been visiting parishioners and neighbors to share Jesus Christ’s joy and make the simple invitation to return to in-person Mass – to return to Jesus to celebrate the graces He pours out on His people and to experience the movement of Jesus now in their lives during these difficult days. During these visits, seminarians have an opportunity to invite individuals to Mass, pray with the individuals they encounter and for their needs, and most importantly, witness their personal love of Jesus Christ.
Pastoral formation is one of the four dimensions of formation for our seminarians (with spiritual, human, and intellectual being the other three). Our goal as a seminary is to prepare your future priests so they can effectively minister to those whom Jesus is calling them to serve. It’s not just about ministry techniques. It is about going out to where the Master has sent them and doing what the Master has asked them to do. Priestly ministry is about saying ‘yes’ when being sent by Jesus to serve and love God’s people and then returning to be with him — always near him.
"Field Education is an important part of priestly formation. It helps these young men who will one day be your priests apply their academic formation and spiritual lives in concrete pastoral situations to assist others in growing closer to Christ. It is a great privilege to lead the seminarians in this work, helping their hearts more perfectly reflect the Sacred Heart of Jesus."
—Fr. Stephen Pullis, Director of Graduate Pastoral Formation
Your continued prayers and support make it possible for us to form and train the next generation of priests who will be sent by Jesus to proclaim the Good News and comfort the afflicted in your parishes, schools, and communities.
Will you consider renewing your support of our mission with a sacrificial gift to Sacred Heart? Please know I am deeply grateful for your financial and spiritual support.
As we prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of Christ, be assured that the Sacred Heart community is praying for you and your needs. May the joy of the Incarnate Lord fill your lives each day of the year. I remain,
Trusting in the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ,
Very Reverend Stephen Burr