St. John’s seminarians to pray for conclave

imagesThe following comes from a February 22 report on Southern California Public Radio.

In anticipation of the papal conclave assembling to elect a new pope next month, St. John’s seminary in Camarillo, Calif., is finding its own way to participate in the process.

When the Roman Catholic Church’s 117 cardinals enter the Sistine Chapel – which could be as early as March 10 — St. John’s 82 seminarians will pray continuously for them during an all-night adoration, organized by Monsignor Craig Cox, the rector of St. John’s seminary.

The practice is modeled after the seminary’s custom of praying 24 consecutive hours for a new priest prior to his ordination. Each seminarian will sign up for a time slot so that the seminary’s chapel remains occupied for those 24 hours.

“It’s important that we not just be spectators, but that we join in as well,” said Cox, who discussed the adoration idea with St. John’s spiritual formation team as soon as they learned of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, which takes effect on Feb. 28.

In addition to the seminary’s daily mass intentions and prayers for the conclave, Cox hopes the adoration will help the seminarians feel more involved in a “very significant historical moment that happens very rarely in church history,” he said….

Cox credits Pope John Paul II for recognizing “what it takes for men to serve in the priesthood in this day and age.” Pope John Paul was also influential in creating the “Program of Priestly Formation,” which every U.S. seminary now follows to better support its seminarians.

Like his predecessor, Pope Benedict also had a passion for vocations. He would write to the seminarians, impart “fatherly advice” and often include them in his homilies, Cox says.

“Both of these holy fathers we’ve had recently had a real deep love for wanting to foster vocations,” Cox says. “Certainly the new holy father will be different. … My hope is that he will continue to do things like this and eventually make a contribution to us.”

To read entire report, click here.


  1. Hope the good Seminarians learn some Latin, at least the standard prayers: Gloria, Paternoster, Ave Maria and Apostles’ Creed. All Catholics should learn this.

    It was an amazing that when in the Pope chanted the Paternoster at his final Audience tens of thousands on faithful joined in.

  2. R.B. Rodda says:

    Praying is what is important — not what language one prays in.

    • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

      Latin is the official prayer Laguage of the Catholic Church. That is important.

      There is a fundamental difference between personal and interior prayer and public prayer which it liturgical in nature.
      The first step is to accept that Liturgy is not about us. Its all for God.

      • Clinton R. says:

        Yes, Latin is the official language of the Catholic Church. Sad that so many have a disdain for Latin. It is a language that fosters unity. Otherwise, when everyone is talking in various languages, then it’s the Tower of Babel.

        • Tower of Babel? Depends on the faith among those “babeling”. St Paul tells us that some people understand such “babel”, and others can actually interpret it for the rest of us … so be advised not to shut your ears simply because you can’t fathom something.

      • R.B. Rodda says:

        As I said: “Praying is what is important — not what language one prays in.”

    • Life Lady says:

      Some languages are more well-received than others.

      • People normally pray in their native tongue — even as they COUNT in their first language.

        If gathered together, for example at Mass, they might choose to use another language such as Latin or Greek, but God could not care less what tongue they use for their own prayers. Trust me on this.

    • Catherine says:

      R.B. Rodda,

      Gratias’s post that encourages seminarians to learn Latin prayers should not threaten you in the least or threaten your peace. You have been completely silent on heresy and disobedience… THAT IS until the whole world was made aware of the LA scandals and cover up and then you seemed to have been given the courage to speak up… then we heard your voice. It is understandable R.B. because basic human nature desires support and back up from the majority before they speak up. Gratias, is always consistent and is speaking up for something that is good.

      It is really important to be consistent when fighting heresy and disobedience for those are the root of all scandals.

  3. Maryanne Leonard says:

    The seminarians I know at beautiful St. John’s Seminary study incredibly long hours and learn a great deal more about the Catholic faith than most of us will know in a lifetime of openness to learning all that we can in our daily lives. They are wonderful human beings and faithful Catholic men, learning what they need to know to become wonderful priests. Monsignor Craig Cox is a brilliant, responsible and approachable human being who cares a great deal about the seminarians under his fatherly care and is a great asset to the seminary.

  4. Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

    I am very glad to see this news coming from St. John’s. It’s the first piece of good news from that place in a really long time.
    I really hope they have reformed and fixed this place and the sodomy mafia has left. Now if only they could teach these men how to preach in a traditional catholic way to form souls and win them for Christ instead of the ‘Jesus Loves You’ Sermon.

    • Maryanne Leonard says:

      St. John’s Seminary has an open house once a year that is by invitation, but I think it is possible to be placed on their mailing list for an invitation by request (though I don’t know for sure). They also offer lectures from time to time that are quite enriching. There is no question that the entire atmosphere is oriented toward the highest standards of priestly formation. I lament the lingering stench of the sins of the years past. I wonder if it is also true that the sins of the previous students shall be visited upon the subsequent students for 10 generations, or will it be 50, before the fresh Camarillo air can allow St. John’s detractors to smell the fragrant orange blossoms. I suggest learning what you can about the present-day St. John’s Seminary and bury the past with the past . . . or else why should people clean things up?

      Imagine if Archbishop Gomez ever actually got around to cleaning up the REC, and 20 years later people were still griping about past grievances. It might feel like people are beating a dead horse to death to the folks who actually managed to clean up the REC.

      Of course, I know my hopes about the REC are still in the fantasy stage, but I haven’t given up expecting the best out of the Archbishop yet.

      • Maryanne,

        It was not primarily the sins of the students but the sins of the administrators.

        “Sins of the past?” How long ago was it when Douglas Kmiec delivered the “Newman Eberhardt Lecture” at St. John’s? After that double affront – 1.) giving Kmiec a platform to explain how he was “pro-life” and supporting Obama and 2.) using the name of the saintly Newman Eberhardt to do it under – it was then that I removed myself from the SJS mailing list.

        That being said – the fact that they are having Eucharistic Adoration to pray for the conclave is wonderful. When I was at SJS 20+ years ago too much time before the tabernacle would get one marked down. Of course Gabino Zavala was Dean of Students then and George Niederauer was Rector. I truly hope the administration has changed in tone and policy.

    • Bob One says:

      But, Jesus does love you and that is the most important message in the Gospels! Jesus is love. If you want to know Jesus you must know and accept his love above all else. That is the traditional Catholic message. I can’t for the love of God imagine what you consider traditional Catholic way of preaching. You form souls by … how?

      • Actually, Bob One, the most important message in the Gospel is that God’s love for us provides for our salvation … if we respond faithfully.

    • R.B. Rodda says:

      You say: “It’s the first piece of good news from that place in a really long time.”

      And I say “that’s simply wrong.” I know three priests personally that were ordained in the past 5 years that are living proof that good things happen at that seminary.

      • Catherine says:

        I also hope and pray that things have become much better. Gratias’s suggestion was excellent.

        Google: Washing 10,000 Windows at the Crystal Cathedral
        How much does it cost today to just clean the windows? The LA Times reported it was an estimated $30,000 back in 1989.

        A woman recently took the tour and she said that the tour guide said it cost $80,000 twice a year JUST to clean the windows. The woman rose her hand and asked, “Being a woman I would like to ask you who climbs up to dust the thousands of crossbars ledges inside of the building? The tour guide responded, “Ma’am I’m sorry, I do not know the answer to that question.”

        People left the tour feeling that it was very unfair to dump this white elephant on a new bishop. Eighty thousand dollars twice a year, just for cleaning the NOT a good thing.

        L.A. Times
        How Do You Scrub the Crystal Cathedral? Very, Very Carefully
        September 22, 1989

        THIS WAS IN 1989

        “The church spends an estimated $30,000–taken from a special endowment fund earmarked for the maintenance–each year to rent a 110-ton crane to lift the window washers in a basket attached to a 180-foot boom.

        Each year the church hires an Orange-based business, Mr. Crane, to hoist several maintenance workers in the basket, specially designed to conform to the demands of the cathedral’s distinctive architecture.

        The 2,000-pound basket has special brushes for reaching side windows, water pumps, a dozen hoses and 20 tanks holding a solution of iodized water and ammonia. Respirators are also aboard if workers want to avoid the powerful smell of ammonia.”

        • R.B. Rodda says:

          Your hatred of Christ Cathedral isn’t about to change things. You do realize that, correct? All you are doing it taking a toll on yourself. Why not simply ignore that wonderful cathedral about get on with your life?

          • Catherine says:

            Online dictionary definition of a White Elephant
            a. A rare, expensive possession that is a financial burden to maintain.
            b. Something of dubious or limited value.
            2. An article, ornament, or household utensil no longer wanted by its owner.
            3. An endeavor or venture that proves to be a conspicuous failure.
            4. A rare whitish or light-gray form of the Asian elephant, often regarded with special veneration in regions of southeast Asia and India.

            No Mr.R.B. Rodda, It is you who often shows such a mean-spiritedness for Catholics who love Tradition. Since you’ll never beat them, why not join them in always upholding “all” Church teaching. “In the End My Immaculate Heart WIll Triumph.” Tradition.

            The decision to purchase this haven for window washing businesses was R.B. (Really Bad)

          • The bishop should charge sufficient admission to the temple … I mean cathedral, so as to make only the clients, er customers, uh, patrons, audiences, or visitors pay for the costs.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          Catherine if RB Rodda is a wealthy Catholic, perhaps he can help pay a large sum of it….this goes also for all the other wealthy Catholics…..start giving those large sums to help pay for the cleaning of those windows….whew…lots of work equals lots of dough.

      • Proof? Even Daniel, Shadrach and Meshack came out of the fiery furnace smelling like roses.

    • Piedmontese says:

      “Sodomy mafia”? THAT is vicious calumny…from the Catholic Encyclopedia: “the unjust damaging of the good name of another by imputing to him a crime or fault of which he is not guilty. The sin thus committed is in a general sense mortal.”

      • Paleobotanist says:


      • Then by all means, Piedmontese, call for the punishment of the Pope who has found out that his curia is loaded with “filth”. Don’t you think it is evil to attempt to identify and get rid of corruption in high places?

      • The sodomy mafia is by far more viscious than the real mafia, Piedmontese. So you can imagine how horrible these corrupt impersonators of Catholicism are … in that they are the ones who always attempt to destroy the Church … as Jesus says many times in the Gospels (check wiki to see what the Gospels are), these people have the devil for their father.

  5. Paleobotanist says:

    I hope and pray as well that things have become much better in the case of St. John’s Seminary. It had no where to go but up. Praise be Jesus Christ… “the lavender mafia”… God wiling, is nothing more then history.

  6. “Jesus loves you.” Yes, Mbûkû, I can see why such a heretical statement during a homily would upset you.

    Perhaps, instead, these seminarians could learn good preaching from the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas? I believe their motto is “hate is great!” but I could be mistaken.

    • Catherine says:

      “but I could be mistaken.”

      Yes max, you often are and the Westboro Baptist comment confirms that it has been quite recognizable the entire time so don’t feel unloved. Just be faithful. Don’t mock faithful priests because “Jesus loves you” and that offends Jesus when you mock priests about “sniffing too much incense.”

      • Anonymous says:

        It offends Jesus when we don’t forgive and bring up things long in the past for no reason other than to needle someone.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Catherine isn’t it crazy how some anon person keeps admonishing you but where was this anon person when the other folks said the inappropriate stuff….there was no admonishment from them to them but only to you…shame on that Anon person.

    • Mchicha Wacheza says:

      One who is baptized already knows that “Jesus loves them even unto death”. They need to be taught how to love him back, any priests who wastes opportunities to grow the soul at the expense of hyperbole-lous sermons is wasting his time and those of souls under his care.

  7. Juergensen says:

    All now, pray that the wolves fail.

  8. “Latin is the official prayer Laguage of the Catholic Church.”

    No, this is simply not true. The Catholic Church embraces many Rites (e.g., Latin, Coptic, Maronite, Syro-Malankar, Byzantine, etc.), and only the first uses Latin in some cases.

    Statements like these are misleading, much like a Californian claiming, “Everyone loves sushi.” Maybe in that state, but not everywhere!

    • Mchicha Wacheza says:

      you know you are posting stuff that is just not true. You know very well he meant the Roman rite, and now you post Eastern rites.

      Really? Let me see what is the percentage of Eastern Catholics in California? 1%? .05%?

      • So…let’s get this straight.

        Because Eastern Catholics are a minority, they don’t count?

        And we can just make up stuff like “Latin is the official language of the Church?”

        I prefer accuracy.

  9. “I really hope they have reformed and fixed this place and the sodomy mafia has left.”

    Mbûkû, where do you get such notions? The last I heard, St. John’s was considered pretty conservative, with the seminarians wearing cassocks, not leaving the grounds, etc. Making such horrible statements about our seminaries would dissuade any sensible young man from wanting to pursue any possible vocation there!

    • Mchicha Wacheza says:

      You have no idea what you speak of.

    • Any “sensible young man” ought to be sensible enough to investigate thoroughly the history and current reports and suspicions of a seminary, not to mention the “rap sheet” of any bishop that has anything to do with it. One might also want to wait to see further information released on the Pope’s recent intel report on the filth in the curia, and then follow up on the leads to find out which bishops … but of course this would be a huge task and would upset those Catholics who prefer rose colored glasses and pink tights with tutus over the truth and salvation.

      • Well, guys, one problem is that a young man wanting to pursue a vocation to the priesthood doesn’t just “apply to a seminary,” like some college kid applying to a university.

        He first must be sponsored by a Diocese (e.g., San Francisco) or a Religious Order (e.g., the Dominicans), and they probably decide where he will be educated.

        In some cases, the seminarian may be given some say, such as, “I would LOVE to do my studies in Rome!” but it’s ultimately up to his superiors.

        In the Church, we call this obedience…such an old-fashioned notion, I know…

    • Mchicha Wacheza says:

      Part of the sodomite mafia in the Clergy

      [Source: Scottish Catholic Media Office]

      3 March 2013
      Statement from Cardinal O’Brien

      “In recent days certain allegations which have been made against me have become public. Initially, their anonymous and non-specific nature led me to contest them.

      However, I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.

      To those I have offended, I apologise and ask forgiveness.

      To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologise.

      I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no further part in the public life of the Catholic Church in Scotland.”

      You really think seminaries were not infested with Sodomy Mafia? What exactly is the Cardinal admitting to? Relations with women? Married or unmarried?

      • Mark from PA says:

        From what I have read, Cardinal O’Brien took a tough stand against gays. Maybe he protested too much. It seems that the priests involved decided to say something when they found out that they weren’t the only one. At least it was good that Cardinal O’Brien apologized. That is more than we get from the Westboro Baptists.

      • Paleobotanist says:

        “By their fruits you shall recognize them”….

      • Maryanne Leonard says:

        That of the thousands of ordained men in our Church, it has come to light that some are not celibate, some are gay, some have abused children, and some have covered up criminal sexual abuse of children and adults, all of which is shameful, sad, infuriating, disgusting, and in every imaginable way upsetting beyond description, does not mean that our faith should be shaken in Jesus Christ. We are Catholics because we love Jesus, not because we love this priest or that cardinal or anyone at any level of the human hierarchy of the Catholic Church. We love the teachings of the Catholic Church and lament the shortcomings of the men and women who call themselves Catholics, even when, and especially when, that list must include our own selves.

        It has been said that mercy is not needed by the righteous; it is given to those most in need. Those who choose to enter the priesthood are very special men indeed, who choose to give up a great deal in order to be chosen and trained for this terribly difficult yet wonderfully satisfying life (or so I am told).

        I think our Church is in grave danger of being damned from without by reports of the failed ordained priests, bishops and even cardinals frm within. We must return to the Bible and the teachings of Our Lord for guidance as to how to behave toward these sinners. If not now, then when?

        I have never found a more propitious time to call to mind the words, “These are the times that try men’s souls . . . ” Our poor souls have been tried and tried again by these horrifying reports, and I fear there is more to come. Yet our hearts are uplifted by the Word of the Lord, and it is a joy to see so many good Catholics doing their best day by day to live up to the teachings of the Church. It is apparently going to be our task to help priests and the hierarchy stay true to their vows as well.

        I am noting here that the miscreants are not the women religious, who are often treated as second-class citizens and certainly not given the respect, power, money or responsibility of ordained men in our Church. As a woman, I am pleased to note and point out the still-clean reputations of our nuns, not that they are all obendient in every way, mind you, but at least our nuns are not charged with heinous crimes against our children or anyone else … thanks be to God. They, as with all our good priests, have the decency and grace to be horrified and saddened by the very same reports that sadden and horrify us all.

    • Paleobotanist says:

      Wearing cassocks? I find this highly, highly unlikely.

  10. Prayer Request says:

    It is our privilege to join the St. John’s seminarians in prayer for the Conclave.

  11. Buddhapest says:

    I am looking forward to praying for the next Pope. In fact, I have been asked to pray for the conclave, and will do so with joy in my heart. Peace

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