The forge in which future priests are hammered and annealed

Charlotte seminariansFrom a reader in the Diocese of Charlotte, in North Carolina.

Hey Father,

On Respect Life Sunday, our newly instituted minor seminary[!] in the Charlotte Diocese (St. Joseph) [NC] took their 8 seminarians and recited a rosary in front of the local abortion clinic on Latrobe Ave.

Chaos ensued thereafter by the abortion advocates (mocking their clothing and rituals), and now they are trolling the Facebook page with negative reviews.

I know it seems trivial, but the more support and prayers these young men have, the strong priests they will become (should it be God’s will).

There is much to be thankful for in this new institution. Their rector is Fr. Kauth, the same man who was crucified by angry families at Charlotte Catholic a few years back. He’s a good and holy priest and much fruit will come from his endeavor with these young men.


For your perusal. If you can, share. If not, just pray. Thank you!

We don’t need delicate little flowers and tender snowflakes in our seminaries or rectories or chanceries.

Seminarians and young priests had better toughen up, network and get ready for the storm.  A previous rant, HERE.  I am now getting more notes from seminarians who are being attacked in seminary for being too traditional.  Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Note that the minor seminarians have a distinctive cassock as the Pontifical Colleges did of old, with identifying cuts and colors.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Be The Maquis, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Seminarians and Seminaries, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. wanda says:

    What awesome young men in black! I had the privilege of being on the sidewalk outside of a planned parenthood a few years back. With our little prayer group was our pastor at the time. I can’t tell you what a difference his presence made that day. A car pulled over right in front of him for a moment. Yes, it scared me. The lady asked father to pray for her soul. How special was that? Young seminarians, keep at it and put on your whole armor! God bless you.

  2. Elly says:

    Wow, they sure look like warriors!

  3. FarmerBrawn says:

    Annealing is a process by which the material is softened. Tempering increases toughness.

  4. Kathleen10 says:

    It is not uncommon for the drivers by to yell horrible things or flip the bird. Oft times there are elderly ladies there, and I hope they don’t hear it. So if they’ll do that, sure they’ll get ugly with young men. They look awesome, and inspiring. Thank God for them and may He bless them and keep them.

  5. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Speciosi sunt, nonne?

  6. ASPM Sem says:

    Every week at about 3:15 on Friday, the men at St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, MN will go out and pray at the Planned Parenthood less than a mile away. They usually go out in their cassocks, with the blessing of the rector.

    [Boy, have times changed in St. Paul!]

  7. Cranky Old Man says:


    Non solum corpore sed etiam–immo praesertim–animo.

  8. JARay says:

    In reply, vere sunt

  9. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Recte dixisti, COM. Valde recte.

  10. Semper Gumby says:

    This is very, very good- a priestly Band of Brothers in the making.

    A storm does appear to be in the offing. Noli timere!

  11. Longis habitus indutis, oculis futura considerantibus, capillisque stricte tonis, iuvenes exspectatione haud parva resplendent.

  12. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Utinam adsit tua in pagina boto “Like”. Facilior est uti botone quam scribere. Scisne?

  13. Dr. Edward Peters: Mihi hoc de “like” scripsisti? Carpe ex vestigio globiculum et comprobationem approba tuam.

  14. Melissa Johnson says:

    I love it! I left a five star review. I also saw one commenter who said “Some people don’t want your public prayers.”

    I’m half tempted to go back and bring that idea to its logical conclusion. No public prayers, huh? If that, then what?

    They have a constitutional right to be upset, I suppose. We (as yet) have the right to pray in public.

  15. Melissa Johnson says:

    I’d also say Hagan Lio–everyone who can, go and post a five star review!

  16. PhilipNeri says:

    I would love to know which US seminaries are still punishing seminarians for being “too conservative.” I suppose making those names public would be imprudent.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  17. Gerard Plourde says:

    Just curious- is the college seminary’s cassock modeled on that of the Paulist Fathers founded by Fr. Isaac Hecker? The only difference I can see is the addition of the colored piping and sash.

  18. jazzclass says:

    Liturgy Guy posted this cool promo video they just released. I encourage you to go watch it. It brings hope back to humanity.

  19. Poor Yorek says:

    Guessing the green fascia indicate the connection to the bishop, i.e. similar to a bishop’s galero, tassels and pectoral cord? If so, nice touch.

  20. Bthompson says:

    I love in a very particular way the distinctive cassocks. While I have no problem with seminarians wearing blacks or an ordinary cassock (collar or not), there is an element of witness and fraternity that special garb carries.
    When I was in seminary one of the things that sustained me was any situation or moment when the priests of my diocese behaved as if I were a “little brother.” That affection and support got me through personal struggles as well as the worst the Sulpecians could manage to throw at me. There is no replacement for the earnest support of one’s mentors and future peers, but I see this uniform idea as a great supplement to a young man’s hunger to belong to something bigger and worthier than himself.

    PLUS, the special cut and colors totally defuse the whiners among the presbyterate who might take umbrage at lay seminarians being confused with clergy (oddly, a fear more common on the Left).

    -Fr Thompson

  21. John F. says:

    What a glorious sight. It is a world of difference from my time in a minor seminary during the mid 1980s. We were encouraged to be just like all the other high schools and their students and not put any focus on the fact we were seminarians in a minor seminary.

  22. Sonshine135 says:

    Thank you all for your prayers and support. My son is one of the Seminarians in the picture, and I learned first-hand about what had happened. I offered up my outrage to the Blessed Mother, as I now have a slight taste of what it was like for her to see her son put to death by sinners. All of these young men are remarkable and holy, and I have seen a tremendous change in my son for the better. These men are certainly not delicate flowers, and they will be warrior priests…full of faith, hope, love, and truth.

  23. AvantiBev says:

    On their Facebook page the seminarians offered a very nice apology to a young, atheist woman who claimed OF COURSE to have been “offended”. She was having none of it and told them (and I guess that means us) to “stay in their lane” and if “that dude” hears prayers then He can hear them without their being outside the clinic. Curious, I went to her FB page and she is a very pretty woman with lots of pictures posted of her by herself. Little to no friend shots or group shots. Kind of sad, no? I hope “that Dude” sends her some faith filled friends.

  24. poohbear says:

    The dark side is out in force on the comments over there. These young men are certainly shining a light on something the evil one wants to keep in shadows. Kudos to them!

  25. DonL says:

    Why the Macho poses so popular with today’s media? It gives the impression of anything but humility.

    [If you have to ask….]

  26. TMKent says:

    I know these young men well and several have come “through” our parish. They all regularly serve at the TLM and their first undergraduate year began with a couple weeks of intensive Latin submersion. They have regular lessons in chant and sacred music. They live together in a former convent on the grounds of a parish in here Charlotte – it is full and they already have a waiting list due to space. The seminary leadership under Bishop Jugis and Father Kauth is the best . We are blessed. God willing, these men are the future of our diocese.

  27. Giuseppe says:

    The macho pose is because they are young men.
    It’s nice to see future priests not losing the bravado of young manhood.
    It’s a dangerous profession, battling Satan.
    Not every photograph must exude humility.
    And I bet when they are on their knees at Mass, they exude humility.

  28. Thorfinn says:

    The minor seminary is accepting donations of items for ongoing needs (food, gas cards) as well as money to build phase 1 of the new seminary buildings near Belmont Abbey College ( But the reality is they probably need our prayers more than anything for the long road ahead. “In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world.”

    I do like TMKent’s phrasing: intensive Latin submersion. Imagine a bishop who offered all his brother priests Latin immersion if they were willing & Latin waterboarding for the unwilling…

  29. Jonathan Marshall says:

    Excellent comment – -all five of your points hit the nail right on the head.

  30. Grant M says:

    Annealed is part of the forging process. The word also suggests aneled which is annointed. Remember King Hamlet who laments dying unhouseled, disappointed and unaneled, which I believe means without viaticum, absolution or extreme unction.

    BTW, can we blame the English Reformation for removing these everyday words for giving and receiving the sacraments from present-day use? Words such as housel, shrive and anele, for which we must now use more formal Latinate substitutes such as Communion and Absolution.

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