Duc in altum: On Forty Years of Priesthood



I have never regretted for a single day having become a priest and, yes, would do it all over again – even amid the lunacy of the 60s and 70s.

The theology years were a nightmare at every level: outright heresy taught as Gospel truth; rife liturgical abuses on a daily basis; persecution of “retrograde” seminarians – with Yours Truly being told that he was “unsuited for ministry in the post-conciliar Church” and forced to find a benevolent bishop three months before diaconate. My seven years of supposed priestly formation were, bar none, the most unhappy years of my life, characterized by intense polarization and draconian imposition of aberrant viewpoints by those in authority.

It seems that rigidness was rampant among the liberals during the ‘spirit’ of Vatican II.


Father Stravinskas entered seminary at a time of upheaval, when radical forces had gained ascendancy in many seminaries. It is startling to hear him describe his seminary years as “the most unhappy years of my life,” yet in those years that was a rather common experience for seminarians with a traditional and doctrinally orthodox orientation.

I have listened to many seminarians of my own diocese; thank the Lord it is not longer like that at the seminaries they attend.


I would add that Fr. Stravinskas deserves a lot of credit for persevering in his vocation during those turbulent years. His year of ordination coincided with the last year of Paul VI’s papacy. His article is a good summary of those times.


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