Dear Brother Alumnus,
It is with great excitement that I greet you as the new President of the Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary Priest Alumni Association. I carry into this role the hope to keep our fraternity growing stronger. Our priestly vocations grow more important every day in a world that desperately needs Jesus Christ. At the same time, the importance of our support for priestly formation at Saint Charles Seminary grows more important.
I am also painfully aware with you of how recent events concerning a few of our brother priests bring great uncertainty and frustration to us all. Naturally, being men who spend our lives (daily) helping those whose lives are “broken” in some way –we are aware of the effects of brokenness in any person and how it spills out into the lives of others. We are already praying for those who have been directly or indirectly affected by events that have unfolded over recent years. We see the effects in the people whom we live with and serve every day in our parishes. We all feel the pain in our private, quiet time in the evening when we close our day with our final conversation with the Lord Jesus and our appeal to His mother in the Salve Regina. Yet, while aware of the sufferings of others, I beg you at this time to do something foreign to the vast majority of Catholic priests – think of yourself. Be sure to increase time with other priests, the empathy you share can be (with prayer to the High Priest) the only balance that helps at a time when we are often in this “lacrimarum valle”. I hope that in the near future we can enjoy each others company at one of our Priest Alumni Association sponsored gatherings.
With this letter, I earnestly ask that you make a gift to this year’s Priest Alumni Appeal. The sacrifices we make each year through our Alumni Appeal is an ordinary witness of our gratitude for the extraordinary priestly life in which we share, and for those formative years when our Lord strengthened us to live that spiritually intense new life as His Priest. This Appeal assists any seminarian who faces financial difficulties with education and formation expenses or medical coverage. It supports all of the fraternal activities of the Priest Alumni Association, especially our annual Jubilarian Mass and Reception. In addition, each year our Association picks a special project to support that is related to one of the four areas of priestly formation: human, intellectual, spiritual and pastoral. In the past, the Association has assisted with additional scholarships and medical assistance, or renovation projects to the exercise room, Ryan Memorial Library, Immaculate Conception Chapel, and Saint John Vianney Hall courtyard.
This year I need to ask you to support this Appeal to enable the Association to sponsor a symposium at Saint Charles in conjunction with the Institute of Priestly Formation, a successful program that prepares seminarians and priests with an active, deep spirituality for a diocesan priestly life. The conference will be attended by formators, priests and seminarians from all over the country from March 17-20, 2011. In addition, please know that there are several seminarians facing serious health issues and the Association stands ready to assist them. Please join me and the entire Seminary community in prayer as we beseech the Lord, who renews His mercy every morning, on behalf of these brave, young men of God.
Lastly, the Association is researching ways to create a priest alumni directory. We are looking at printed and online services to provide you with a means to keep in touch with your classmates. Therefore, please take the time to provide your permission and the contact information that you would like us to use in a directory by completing the back of the enclosed reply form and returning it to the Seminary. Even if you cannot make a gift at this time, please take the time to confirm your contact information. Access to the directory services will be exclusive to only members of this Association and the Seminary’s administration.
My Brother Alumni of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, I ask you to please join me in making a financial sacrifice to assist us with our fraternal and charitable activities. May God strengthen you in courage for the journey.
Sincerely in Christ,
Reverend Michael C. DiIorio (1977)
President, Priest Alumni Association