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To Be Holy

The celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, a reminder of God’s call.

by Kelley A. Mullins

Every year on December 8 Sacred Heart Major Seminary pauses from studying to celebrate the Immaculate Mary, Mother of God, conceived without sin. The Most Rev. Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit, always hosts a morning symposium with the seminarians, followed by a celebration of the Mass for the sacred Solemnity.

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a particularly special day at Sacred Heart because it is the school’s patronal feast day. Mary Immaculate was chosen as the patroness of the seminary to invoke the intercession of the Mother of God for the seminarians and serves as a reminder to them of her intercession.

by Kelley A. Mullins

During his homily at the Solemnity Mass, Archbishop Vigneron provided another reason to ponder Mary Immaculate as the patroness of the seminary: she is a model of the call on the life of each seminarian, and every person.

The Immaculate Conception of Mary is, of course, when Mary was preserved from original sin at the moment of her conception, the moment she first existed. The reality is her existence, her very being, was holy. Archbishop Vigneron explained it is from being full of grace that Mary can say ‘yes’ to and fulfill her mission.

That is why it is right that this day be the feast day for a house of formation: because the Blessed Virgin Mary, for her mission, received this grace of Immaculate Conception. And what God did in her is the paradigm for what he is doing here in the seminary,” said Archbishop Vigneron.

Through formation the seminarians are encouraged to “lean into” the priestly graces they receive to become holier in their being, and from this connection each seminarian can each fulfill his specific mission. Archbishop Vigneron said, “Grace always goes along with vocation … If we want to do the works of holiness, we have to be holy.”

Archbishop Vigneron’s words are a reminder of the incredible call the seminarians have received. “In love, God predestined each of us before the salvation of the world … to play a particular role in the history of salvation. He has a destiny for you, something for you to accomplish in the history of salvation, to be coworkers in his work, like Mary.

December 8 was again designated as Giving Heart Day, an opportunity for Sacred Heart supporters to give to The Fishermen’s Fund. This scholarship fund provides tuition assistance for any student in need, so no calling of God goes unanswered because of financial restrictions. On Giving Heart Day and the weeks that followed, more than $12,000 was raised, which exceeded this year’s goal.

Sacred Heart is deeply grateful for the generosity of all those who continue to support the mission of our seminary. Thank you for the spiritual support provided through the many prayers offered. 

To learn more about Giving Heart Day, or to make a gift to The Fishermen's Fund, please visit:

Kelley A. Mullins

Kelley A. Mullins earned a Master of Arts in Theology from the Augustine Institute. She works for the John Paul II Healing Center, witnessing to truth so that others can experience freedom in Jesus Christ.

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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.