Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A new heavenly promoter of priestly vocations?

For four years, the Diocese of Richmond has been promoting the Cause for beatification of the Servant of God Frank Parater, a seminarian of the diocese who died in 1920 while in priestly formation at the North American College in Rome.

The diocese has a nice Web page for the Cause that has a number of nice features. There is a page with links to a number of articles about Parater, including one at the time of his death from the Vatican's newspaper, L'osservatore Romano.

I first learned of Parater by reading George Weigel's book, Letters to a Young Catholic. At the start of one the book's chapters, Weigel recounted a visit he made to Parater's burial place in Rome and refers to a prayer that the seminarian wrote and left behind as a kind of spiritual last will and testament.

In the years after his death, his prayer apparently became well known in Roman circles. A copy of it was requested by both Pope Benedict XV and Pope Pius XI. A link to Weigel's reflection on Parater, which includes this prayer, can be found on the article page. If his Cause is successful, Parater could perhaps become a heavenly intercessor for the promotion of priestly vocations.

In this task, he could possibly join the Servant of God Bishop Simon Brute, whose Cause for beatification is being promoted by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Bishop Brute was the first bishop of Vincennes, which later became the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. For many years before his episcopal consecration, he helped form men for the priesthood at Mount Saint Mary Seminary in Maryland.

A new house of formation established in 2004 for college seminarians at Marian College in Indianapolis was named after Bishop Brute. Several other articles about Bishop Brute, including a series of columns about him by Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein, can also be found at The Criterion Online Edition's Web site.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

If memory serves, F.P. offered his life for the conversion of his Virginian neighbors so that, in time, most would embrace the Catholic Faith. It seems just a little odd that the true nature of his generous offering of his life to Allmighty God is now never mentioned. I often wonder what he thinks about this politically correct promotion of his cause, a cause that seems to be well justified, only pricipally not for the reasons his promoters say it is.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of this cause, I think that Bishop Brute's cause would be more in line with the notion of prietly vocations. He was a member of the Sulpicians, who are only employed as teachers of seminarians. They do this at the Theological College at Catholic University, Saint Mary's in Baltimore, the FIRST U.S. seminary, where Fr. Brute was once president. They maintained Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg until they had to give it up for financial reasons. That is about the time Brute, for all intents and purposes, left the Sulpicians.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of this cause, I think that Bishop Brute's cause would be more in line with the notion of prietly vocations. He was a member of the Sulpicians, who are only employed as teachers of seminarians. They do this at the Theological College at Catholic University, Saint Mary's in Baltimore, the FIRST U.S. seminary, where Fr. Brute was once president. They maintained Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg until they had to give it up for financial reasons. That is about the time Brute, for all intents and purposes, left the Sulpicians.