Traditional Seminarian

I am starting seminary in just two weeks. I have a cassock, Christian Prayer (the one volume LOTH book), and a handful of Catholic books in addition to standard college supplies. What else would you recommend I obtain since I seek to live as a traditional college seminarian at a diocesan seminary?

I recommend two books for traditional, orthodox spirituality (in case you don’t already have them):

  1. The Imitation of Christ (I have given many copies of this edition by William Creasy as gifts – that is how strongly I feel about it):

which is also available in a “personal workbook” edition if that appeals to you (same text, but with a synopsis and questions for personal application for each chapter):

  1. In Conversation with God (7-volume set for daily readings) (and despite the high relative cost of this set, I have given away multiple copies of this as well – again, that is just how highly I recommend this set of books, that I can’t stop myself from giving them away!):

And a few words of advice:

  1. Modern seminaries tend to define evil as “the absence of good” which leads to the belief that Satan does not exist and is only a metaphor for human evil, and that Hell does not exist. Don’t believe it! There have been numerous scandals involving bad teachings at many seminaries in the U.S. The Vatican has been doing a review of all the Seminaries, but they won’t finish for a couple more years yet. Don’t be afraid to insist on authentic, orthodox teaching from your instructors.
  2. You will be burdened with duties around the seminary and/or the dorm in addition to your studies. Practice good time management! Don’t be lazy, waste time, etc. Have fun, be sociable with the other seminarians, but don’t be frivolous with your time. And no matter how busy you may feel, never skip your prayers!

Don’t believe what? If you mean don’t believe there is no Satan or Hell, than I agree.:slight_smile: If you mean don’t believe that evil is the absence of good, then I disagree, and so does St. Augustine (from his Confessions, Book III, chapter 7):

“[E]vil is nothing but the removal of good until no good remains.”

That truth of our faith hardly leads to such beliefs. On the other hand, rejecting it can lead to dualism like Manichaeism or a general belief that God creates evil.

Read the book, “Good-bye Good Men”

Before going to boot camp, one guy I knew watched the movie “Full Metal Jacket” about a dozen times in order to get psyched up. Perhaps the spiritual equivalent is in order: (one of my favorites is the sermon that starts out with the priest relating the story that at the seminary the seminarians aren’t allowed to “go to hell” without the explicit permission of the seminary rector… it’s the sermon “Contra Sedevacantism” of 4/22/07 if you want the full story in context).

If you really want to up the ante then skip straight to the meat and potatoes: the mission sermon series on the Four Last Things ( This preacher is the spiritual equivalent of a Marine Corps drill instructor (or what Saint Alphonsus Liguori would sound like with a Brooklyn accent… take your pick!)

Do you have a copy of the Catechism?

It clearly defines what the Church teaches on almost any issue.

A cassock would probably be good to have, but you won’t have much daily use for it, unless the dress code is quite strict at your particular seminary.

I Would Get the Four Volume Set of the Liturgy the Hours,

Seminarian Matt - does your diocese allow for the learning of the Tridentine Mass? If not - why not go to an ICRSS or FSSP seminary?


If you want to be real gung-ho, get the Latin LotH since the Constitution on the Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Consillium, envisioned Latin as the norm:

101. 1. In accordance with the centuries-old tradition of the Latin rite, the Latin language is to be retained by clerics in the divine office. But in individual cases the ordinary has the power of granting the use of a vernacular translation to those clerics for whom the use of Latin constitutes a grave obstacle to their praying the office properly. The vernacular version, however, must be one that is drawn up according to the provision of Art. 36.

Yes, I know, it gives an exception clause, and you may very well fall into that…but, you asked about being Traditional, and Latin is the liturgical tradition for the Church. I think when a document says in individual cases, it is clearly saying that this is not the norm de jure. The problem is, now it is the “norm” de facto.

You’re an answer to our prayers!
As a member of the Confraternity of St. Peter, we pray everyday for more priests!

Bless you!

Since the overwhelming majority of Catholics in this country are not interested in the Latin Mass the need for priests to minister to small groups like the ICRSS or FSSP is not nearly as urgent as it is for the diocese. Being he has already made his decision I think we should answer his questions and leave the Tridentine Mass versus the world discussion for another thread,

I second ICRSS or FSSP
Not only for the TLM training, but also for the Orthodoxy and allegiance to the Magisterium.

It is a shame that a seminarian cannot come into this forum and ask questions without being drug into an ongoing forum dispute.

Memorize this book:

Priest - The Man Of God
His Dignity and Duties
By: St. Joseph Cafasso

Wow, that does seem like it would be a great book, especially after looking up who St. Joseph Cafasso is :thumbsup:

How am I dragging him into an ongoing dispute? I just agreed with another poster.

Seminarian Matt:
I cannot add to anything the other posters have already mentioned. Being that I am a new Traditionalist myself, I am still searching, as you are.
Story of a Soul is worth taking :slight_smile:
Also, I know there is an “adult” version of the Baltimore Catechism. Perhaps you can take that as a suppliment to all the other Theology things you will be getting. Just to keep you in touch with the basics that your future congregations will want to know.

There are a few different “series”, so I have separated them out for you :smiley:

sorry.For the third time today I got my attributions mixed up.Guess I should go back to tax returns,.

I agree with this also.

He’s made up his mind and is leaving in a week. Can’t we praise God that he is trying to answer a call instead of suggest what we want him to do?

He’s the one who has discerned his call - let him be.

I totally understand.
I am just saying that if he ends up getting to choose to stay where he is or go to a different seminary, he should discern that choice. But I am sure he already has, thus why he is becomings a diocesan priest.
Mea culpa for upsetting people.

He’s the one who has discerned his call - let him be.

But after September 14th, even diocesan priests can say the traditional liturgy.

I say, bring a copy of the Motu Proprio and insist upon your new right to say the old mass without indult.

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