Category: Updates from Our Seminarians

A Reflection on the Feast of the Holy Family from Chris Holownia

A Reflection on the Feast of the Holy Family from Chris Holownia

The Gospel message of Christmas is one of peace, joy, glory, and love. And yet today, on the Feast of the Holy Family, we are faced with the reality of the world into which our Lord Jesus Christ is born, a world of danger, treachery, and terror. In the lectionary for today, the Gospel for today skips over an important piece that is difficult to hear: When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under. That’s why

A Visit from Chris Holownia – This Sunday, December 29

A Visit from Chris Holownia – This Sunday, December 29

Chris Holownia, our Jesuit seminarian, will be home and joining us for both the 9:00am and 11:00am Masses at St. John this Sunday, December 29! He will joyfully accompany both choirs on the piano and also say a few words after the homily about his current placement at Loyola University of Chicago, where he has been assigned for “First Studies.” Please plan to attend one of these Masses and say hello to Chris!

Christopher Holownia – First Vows with the Society of Jesus

Christopher Holownia – First Vows with the Society of Jesus

On August 10, 2019 Christopher Holownia professed his first vows with the Society of Jesus. The Jesuit vow Mass took place at the Chapel of St. Joseph, St. Joseph University, Philadelphia. Jesuit formation is the longest of any religious order; Chris professed his first vows after three years at a Novitiate. His vows were of poverty, chastity, and obedience in conjunction with his continued perseverance to final profession and ordination. Chris and his family are longtime parishioners at St. John’s and the whole community celebrates with them. We continue to pray that Chris grow in his relationship to God and

Matthew Norwood – Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate

Matthew Norwood – Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate

On June 8, 2019 Matthew Norwood was Ordained to the Transitional Diaconate in our own Archdiocese of Boston. Matt was baptized at St. James Parish and received his further Sacraments at St. Paul Parish. Matt’s call to the Priesthood led him to his studies at St. John’s Seminary, where this year he will complete his final year of preparation in addition to serving at local parishes. We are overjoyed at Matt’s obedient answer to God’s call on his life and continue to support him with our prayers in his vocation to Priesthood.

Matthew Norwood: Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate

Matthew Norwood: Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate

We are pleased to announce that our seminarian, Matthew Norwood, has received his Call for Orders and will be ordained to the Transitional Diaconate on June 8, 2019 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. This day marks a definitive step before he is ordained to the priesthood in May of 2020. On Sunday, June 9th, Matthew will serve as a Deacon for the first time and preach the homily at the St. Paul 9:00am Family Mass. Please keep Matthew in your prayers and join us for this special Mass on June 9th at St. Paul’s. Mass will

A Reflection from Chris Holownia

A Reflection from Chris Holownia

Published November 2018 Homily on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 (16th in Ordinary Time) Reflection on Mi 7:14-15, 18-20; Ps 85:2-4, 5-6, 7-8; Mt 12:46-50 I wonder what Mary and his family wanted to say to Jesus – what was so urgent that they needed to interrupt him while he was speaking to the crowds. Maybe they were embarrassed by him? Scandalized? in Mark’s Gospel, he tells us at one point that they thought he was out of his mind! Imagine the scene! Imagine yourself as one of those disciples witnessing this interaction! How might you react? Might you be taken

A Reflection from Chris Holownia

A Reflection from Chris Holownia

Published October 2018 Homily on the Feast of St. Matthew (Ephesians 4:1-7,11-13; Matthew 9:9-13) As a young man, Pope Francis often contemplated Caravaggio’s depiction of today’s Gospel scene. He said, “This is me, a sinner on whom the Lord has turned his gaze.” I think that’s key here. People don’t volunteer to be disciples; the initiative is always with Jesus. When people approach Jesus (without first being invited) and say that they want to follow Him, He warns them or challenges them, making them think twice about what they’re saying. He rejects people who suppose they can become disciples on

A Reflection from Chris Holownia

A Reflection from Chris Holownia

January, 2018 Reflections on the Vows of Poverty and Obedience POVERTY The most compelling reason for taking a vow of poverty, in my opinion, is to help us become more like Jesus by preventing occasions for sin: the fewer attachments we have to this physical world, the less likely it is that the Evil Spirit will be able to use them against us. Poverty leaves us fewer ways to satisfy (or become addicted to) our passions, and it also frees us from certain kinds of suffering. In our world, possessions quickly lead to hierarchy (whose stuff is best?), and property automatically

A Reflection from Chris Holownia

A Reflection from Chris Holownia

November 11, 2017 Memorial of St. Martin of Tours Dear Parishioners, Happy Advent! In the spirit of this season of transition, renewal, thanksgiving, and conversion, I wanted to share with you a reflection I wrote on Luke 16:1-15 for Mass on November 11, 2017. The story of the dishonest steward is one of Jesus’ most puzzling parables, yet its meaning was made known to me through my experience working as a chaplain at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse. In our consumerist and individualist culture, it’s sometimes difficult to remember that everything we call our own, even life itself, is a

A Reflection from Chris Holownia

A Reflection from Chris Holownia

October 2, 2017 Memorial of the Guardian Angels To the Communities of St. John the Evangelist and St. Paul in Wellesley, pax Christi! God and I have been doing a lot of work leading up to my time at the Jesuit Novitiate in Syracuse. As I was walking around the LeMoyne campus reflecting on my life up to this point, I was overwhelmed with the potential I feel is about to be unleashed. My parents always told me that I could go anywhere and do anything, and now I feel that that is true in a very real way, not