Reason #5 for Summorum Pontificum: vocations to the priesthood

Yet another reason to thank Pope Benedict for Summorum Pontificum:

A long-time reader and participant (and donor) sent an alert about the following, with this comment:

Interesting that CNS included a segment on Tradition starting at 2:15, featuring one Michael Hendershott of the Diocese of Knoxville, who in this video credits his vocation to the TLM.

“TLM” is, of course, the “traditional Latin Mass”, the Extraordinary Form, Mass with the 1962 Missale Romanum.

Here is the video:


And before people ask what my reasons #1-4 are, I am using this #5 as a rhetorical device as always.   Sometimes I use a number like #57636, meaning that there very many good reasons for the Pope Benedict’s provisions.  When I use a number like #5, it is clearly an important point.

And let us not forget that one of the young men in the video spoke about the impact the Fathers of the Church, and Newman, had on his conversion to Catholicism.

REMINDER: Z-Swag – Newman’s “To be deep in history” Mug


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Benedict XVI, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood, The future and our choices and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Matt R says:

    Michael was a seminarian adviser on the St George Trek at Philmont in 2011! He is great, and so was the priest who was the main adviser to his crew. Fr Carter (also of Knoxville) said the TLM one day, and said the OF ad orientem, with the propers (thanks to iBreviary, and a solar-powered iPhone charger) and some sung Latin/Greek ordinaries from memory, on the other days. My crew received Holy Communion kneeling on the tongue when we heard Mass with his crew.

  2. VexillaRegis says:

    It’s very touching to see their happiness when they speak about the priesthood. May God bless them and keep them!

  3. Choirmaster says:

    @Matt R: Clearly, a permissible liturgical use of electronic devices. Where the tomes of prayers and chants cannot go, what a blessing to have recourse to this kind of information technology!

    I wonder if the TLM and it’s accessory devotions would have seen such a strong surge without the Internet? How many devotion stories will we hear in the coming years and decades that start with someone stumbling-upon Fr. Z’s blog?

  4. APX says:

    How many devotion stories will we hear in the coming years and decades that start with someone stumbling-upon Fr. Z’s blog?

    Mine did. I was trying to learn how to go to Confession again and stumbled upon Father Z’s 20 Tips for making a Good Confession, upon which I got bored during class and started reading the entire blog and became curious of the TLM. I wasn’t overly impressed at first and couldn’t see what the hype was about until I attended a High Mass offered by a priest from the FSSP. I ended up having to drop that class, but my soul and spiritual life have been resuscitated.

    FWIW: I too am discerning a vocation, but it’s frowned upon by some of my traditionalist friends, and another is telling me this will all pass “once [I] meet the right guy” so I’m still somewhat hesitant with it. Vocations for women other than marriage don’t seem to be encourage in traditional communities.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    My son phoned me earlier and said his room was 40 seconds away from the chapel. He was SO happy that he can pop in and talk to Jesus Our Lord at any time.

    New Men, New Catholic Pride.

  6. Supertradmum says:

    Women considering a vocation-make a retreat-go to Our Lady Queen of Apostles or other great orders. Look at this girl. You need to step out and visit.

  7. Sissy says:

    Thank you for the link, Supertradmum. I’ll miss Leah’s hilarious videos, but I’m so happy for her!!

  8. Dave N. says:

    Michael Hendershott of the Diocese of Knoxville…credits his vocation to the TLM.

    Perhaps some should let Abp. Listecki in Milwaukee know.

  9. VexillaRegis says:

    @Supertradmum: “New Men, New Catholic Pride” – Congratulations on being a seminaristmum!! One can feel your joy and happiness in every entry you make!

  10. APX says:

    I’m not discerning to become a nun. That might be more accepted. But because I’m discerning a vocation that’s so traditional, thus fell out of use and had to be revived by Vatican II, it’s seen as a “fabrication of Vatican II” which makes it suspect. I’m taking it one step at a time and slowly but surely moving ahead.

  11. Supertradmum says:

    APX, I have a good friend who is a Consecrated Virgin. It is a wonderful and needed calling, and here is a long article on it from you know who.

  12. Sissy says:

    APX, Supertradmum: I also know a young lady discerning this high calling. Thank you for the link, Supertradmum.

  13. nemo says:

    I know of a priest who was previously Anglican. Although he knew the Catholic Church was THE church, he couldn’t reconcile the august sacrifice of the Mass with what he experienced in the average n.o. parish. One time a friend took him to a TLM and he knew immediately that this was it. He spoke to the priest afterwards and said he wanted to become Catholig and thought he might be called to the priesthood. Kind of like the parable about the pearl of great price?

  14. APX says:


    Thanks for the link. This is actually a difficult vocation to discern, as it’s pretty much a DIY vocation. It’s also completely reliant on the competency of your spiritual director (if you can find one that isn’t into quackery) in the spiritual direction/formation part.

    It’s also refreshing to know that there are other young women discerning this. I was getting quite discouraged when I kept reading news releases about women in their 40s-60s becoming CV’s and not too many younger ones.

  15. momoften says:

    One of the most important reasons stated by my son as to his attraction to the priesthood was the
    EF Mass–learning how to serve it, the reasons behind everything, the reverence, the beauty of the
    One of the hardest things for a woman is discerning a religious vocation. Institute of Religious Life
    offers a lovely magazine that has features different religious orders (traditional) for women. There
    are great orders that are flourishing with young ladies…Trinitarians of Mary, Sisters of the Holy Cross, Dominicans, so many. I wish there was a sort of seminary of sorts for women that could introduce a woman (young girl) to the lifestyles of different orders. It is so hard for women. There
    has got to be a better way as even in our diocese the contact is minimal with women religious. We
    make it a point in our small parish to give that to our girls 2 or 3 times a year with retreats with
    women religious. Is it working, yes……

  16. Matt R says:

    Indeed. I have taken to the practice of the boys in Michael Henderschott and Fr Carter’s crew, by singing the chants from the Missa de Angelis as best I can, to learn them by repetition, just as they did a thousand years ago in scholas. Though the trail at Philmont is a better place to hear yourself than public high school. Alas. Oh and for the record, Michael was the best server on the entire trek, especially since we weren’t allowed to kneel save for the Masses Fr Carter said.

  17. Supertradmum says:

    the discernment process is completely different for a women becoming a nun or sister and always has been. If I can help you by summarizing some of the differences, here goes.
    One, women are put right into the entire life of the community even though they are at different levels of commitment. Priest are given much more time for discernment, as most seminaries see the seminary time as one of process; although in England, it is better as the process takes place before seminary to a larger extent with a much lower drop-out rate. The process of women is fast and intense on purpose.
    Two, as orders are stricter than diocesan or secular priesthood as far as lifestyle, the nuns are expected to learn and conform to a rule. You would have to compare the call of a nun more like that of a monk or an active trad order, such as the fssps. Strictness and obedience are part of it.
    Three, in enclosed orders, such as most Benedictines or Carmelites, the call is one of total consecration to God through prayer and not being active in the world. This is also a reason for the immediate separation of the woman from the world. It is a contemplative not active call. Do not confuse the two calls.
    Four, and you might not like to hear this, but the traditional female orders are much, much harder to join and to live than the others. This has been the case always. More is expected and more is given. Formation, therefore, is more intense.
    Five, there can be no half-way for a nun or sister, as they do not live in the world like secular or diocesan priests who live alone in rectories for the most part and deal with the laity daily. The community is all and from there, even if it is an active order, the women go out, but to come back again. Secular priests have to form their groups for support, which is completely different.
    Six, as the nun or sister is the Bride of Christ, the relationship is very intimate and less “social”. Again, this is part of the tradition of the Church. A Bride gets engaged and then gets married in the lay world and the dynamic is the same for the religious life.

    Hope these quick thoughts help. A woman cannot just be in half-way. It has never been that way.

  18. HeadSacristan says:

    Seminarian Hendershott is a fine young man and a friend of mine (and an occasional WDTPRS reader!). Knowing him was instrumental in helping me make the final decision to enter the seminary. He has a sister who is a Dominican and one or two younger brothers also considering the priesthood. Keep an eye out for him; I think he’s going places! Please pray for him and for me. God willing we will be ordained the same year.

  19. Supertradmum says:

    HeadSacristan, prayers and your story about Mr. Hendershott indicates what I have always believed that vocations come from families and even from generations. God bless you all.

  20. St. Epaphras says:

    From the blog —

    Prayer for a Seminarian

    God our Father, You have chosen Your Son, Jesus Christ, to reveal Yourself to us. You
    have chosen Your Church to show us Your love through Him. You have chosen ___________, your son, to be a priest as a sign of that love to Your people. We pray that the Holy Spirit continue to fill him with Your peace and joy as he prepares for the holy priesthood. We pray that through his priesthood he may proclaim the wonder of Your faithfulness and love to all through Jesus Christ our Lord!

    Daily Prayer for a Seminarian Until his Ordination to the Priesthood

    O Jesus, Eternal High Priest,
    I offer You through Your Immaculate Mother Mary, Your own Precious Blood, in all the Masses throughout the world, as petition for graces for all seminarians, Your future priests, especially for…………
    Give them humility, meekness, prudence, and a burning zeal for soul. Fill their hearts with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to know and love the church, that they may always and everywhere speak, act, and think with her, the glorious spouse of Christ. Teach them generosity and detachment from worldly goods; but above all, teach them to know You and to love the One and Only Eternal Priest. Good Shepherd of Souls, hear this my prayer for saintly priests.

  21. contrarian says:

    You gotta love how that guy not only said that he was inspired by the TLM, but that he saw his main job as a priest as performing certain functions for the salvation of souls.


    “Hear confession?”
    “Salvation of souls?”
    “Sacrifice of the Mass?”
    Those are his reasons? Those are his buzz words?

    That guy couldn’t have even got through the interview process even ten years ago. He would have been seen as unfit for the priesthood.

  22. catholictigerfan says:

    The first guy in this video I know personally and got to know him very well. He was the student body president at the seminary college I am at right now. Great man such a great example to new seminarians at the time. He of course is playing his harmonica in the video, it is one of his favorite hobbies. He will be an amazing priest and great leader of the flock.

    about the TLM I’ve seen many seminarians here at my seminary wanting to bring more reverence to the mass. Because I’m at the minor seminary I probably don’t hear about these comments as much but we do talk about them from time to time. Also the professors here have a very traditional mind set, that will have a large influence on the future of the church here.

    I believe there is something brewing in this church and it going to change the culture forever these men are a clear sign of this.

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