YESTERDAY I RECEIVED AN ENVELOPE FROM SOMONE WHO WAS SENIOR TO ME AS A SEMINARIAN IN HOLY CROSS COLLEGE, CLOMLIFFE FROM 1970 TO 1973. MY HUNCH IS THAT IT IS FROM A DUBLIM PRIEST.
It contained a two and a half page statement from the 1969 – 1970 intake class.
It was that class’ review of their first year in Clonliffe – which was called a formation year.
They all attended the Mater Dei Institute next door, as we did. In my year, 1970 – 1971 – 18 of us joined 160 nuns and a few lay students for formation.
I personally enjoyed the year, even though at 18, I was dogged with emotions and insecurities, quite related my secret sexual orientation. Strangely, the only reprimand I had that year was about spending too much time with a young novice nun. Obviously, she or I were no danger to each other.
I’ll let you read the statement here;
Do you not think that the above statement is moving in it’s innocence and desire for spirituality and pastoral training?
Nothing at all of the homosexualization and orgy like ambiance of modern day Maynooth, Wonersh, Allen Hall and the Irish College in Rome.
I was aware of rare homosexual encounters there. Later I became aware that some altar boys had been sexually abused during visits there.
But the order of the day was prayer, study, recreation and there was an unnecessary level of strictness in the air.
But the inherent goodness and sincerity of most of the seminarians was palpable.
Of course there were some horrific bad apples, identified later, people like Bill Carney, Noel Reynolds etc,
What did my correspondent mean by “the land of broken dreams”?
I think he meant a number of things:
- The sad destruction of all the innocence and goodness we all entered seminary with.
- The abandonment of the renewing spirit of Vatican 11 that filled us all in those days by John Paul and Benedict.
- The soul destroying tsunami of sexual abuse and corruption in the church which has destroyed the confidence of good priests and which leave them wondering if they have wasted their lives.
HAVE MY DREAMS BEEN BROKEN?
I ask myself this question today?
I have wanted to a priest since I was 4 years old.
My early dreams were, as is normal, peppered with infatuation and romance and were immature and needed to be tested by time and trial.
I had no idea whatsoever what the clerical world was like and the reality of that world shocked me more and more as I went forward. I met some very good priests in the last 49 years but I have been shocked by many who were / are atheistic, agnostic, sexual abusers, rapists, alcoholics, gamblers, cynics, materialistic, viciously ambitious, etc.
There are two kinds of priest in the RCC:
There are those with the heart of a loving pastor.
There are those who have the non existing hearts / hard hearts of functionary CLERICS.
These clerics are the wolves in sheep’s clothing.
My outlook on priesthood has changed and matured greatly.
I have ceased to be a cleric of the RCC. Alleluia!
I am now just a priest – with the two sided mission to love and serve God and love and serve people.
I am not the only one doing that. There are many others doing it too.
And I do it in my own imperfect way.
And, I find it hard to understand how anyone can do that from within an institution that has been so overwhelmingly overtaken by evil?
“How can a bad tree produce good fruit”?
Our primary dream is our dream of our journey with Jesus and our “dream time” with him in eternity.
I still have that dream, thank God.
The dreams I had in 1970 are, for better or worse, shattered.