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Msgr. Lajiness Reflects on 19 Years at Sacred Heart Major Seminary

"The very strong sense I have right now is gratitude."

by Editorial Team

Monsignor Todd Lajiness reflects on his 19 years at Sacred Heart, including nine years as President and Rector. This July, he will begin his new assignment at Our Lady of Good Counsel parish in Plymouth.


Msgr. Todd Lajiness:

The very strong sense I have right now is gratitude. Gratitude for being able to be assigned here, gratitude for the way in which the students, the staff, the faculty have accompanied me in my work.

I think I'm a much different priest than I was 20 years ago, thanks be to God, but it's been a tremendous blessing to have this kind of an assignment with the focus of forming leaders for the church. Those who are here get to be part of a team whose primary focus is to accompany people to discover God's call. That's just an awesome privilege to do that.

I think we responded very quickly to Pope John Paul when he identified that as an important, urgent need for the church, to be about a new evangelization. We need to be urgently about re-presenting that again to a world that has heard it, but needs to hear it again in a new and in a vibrant way.

I'll definitely miss that very core work of accompanying a student in discovering how it is that God's calling them, how it is that God's speaking, and very often, whispering, offering signs for them to see and the directions for them to go. As we form someone, we're forming someone not just in an emotional way, or a skill-based way or an intellectual way, but really forming the whole person. That's the uniqueness of Catholic formation in a seminary setting. That's the gift that has been given to us, so it's a privileged ministry. And I think when someone discovers that, life is lived a lot differently, to know that, yeah, there are difficult days, and there are difficult challenges, but I'm doing what God wants me to do, and I'm going to find the most joy and freedom in that.

What I'm really looking forward to is getting my feet planted in a parish, at Our Lady of Good Counsel, and listening and learning as much as I can in the early months. I really look forward to walking alongside, and leading and accompanying families in the faith because there's so many challenges, I think, for families today, so many.

Father Burr is an exceptional priest. He's a good friend, too, and we've worked together for 13 years. He's unflappable and calm--he'll be a very good shepherd, a great leader.

I mean, on the horizon, I think the seminary is positioned perfectly to address some of the post-pandemic challenges that are going to be coming up. There'll be a new program for priestly formation coming up fairly soon, and I think we think about formation differently now after the pandemic than we did before. And I'm excited for how the seminary is going to approach that. And I think it's in very good hands, and it'll approach it with great trust, and great confidence and faith.

Editorial Team

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.