Wednesday, October 22, 2003

North American Sems Vow to Stem the Tide

From Newsday.com - Answering an Uncommon Call:

"They refer to themselves as 'John Paul's Men.' And like their 83-year-old hero, they are fervent about their faith and self-confidently orthodox in ways that distinguish them from an earlier generation of seminarians weaned on Vietnam War-era protests and the women's movement.

'I look out my window at St. Peter's every day and I think about John Paul's resiliency and his tireless efforts to bring the gospel to all,' said Robert Keighron, 22, of Ozone Park, a second-year seminarian at the 144-year-old Pontifical North American College in Rome. 'No one is excluded by this pope. No one. And that zeal is what I am attracted to.'

Keighron and many of his 155 brethren at this American seminary in Rome are typical of a new, more conservative generation of seminarians who were born after John Paul's election and came of age during his 25-year pontificate. In a sharp break with the more rebellious attitudes that characterized their predecessors, many emulate John Paul's personal piety as well as his orthodoxy on matters ranging from mandatory priestly celibacy, to birth control and divorce, to his vision of priests as shepherds leading their flock. And they say their intention is nothing less than to carry on the pope's legacy long after he is gone."