Vocation awareness: A view from the last year of seminary

Deacon Kirby Rust

By Deacon Kirtby Rust

Hello from Mt. St. Mary’s of the West Seminary! God’s peace to you during this Vocations Awareness Week.

My name is Deacon Kirby Rust. I’m in my last year of theological studies in the seminary. I have been asked to share what a typical day in the life of the seminary looks like as a transitional deacon.

On a typical weekday, I awake to the sound of my alarm and the smell of freshly brewed coffee at 5 a.m. After I get out of bed and take a shower, I sit in my reclining chair and pray “coffice,” the mixture of the Office of Readings while drinking coffee, followed by spiritual reading on the readings for Mass until 6:15 a.m.

The seminary community then gathers in the seminary chapel at 6:30 a.m. for the chanting of Lauds, or Morning Prayer.  At 6:50 a.m. Mass begins. Typically, we are in class all morning until lunch.

On various days we may have class in the afternoon, but on most days after lunch there is time for study, prayer, and/or relaxation … And more coffee.

If there are no classes held in the afternoons, we are then free until community Holy Hour with exposition at 5 p.m. followed by the recitation of the Holy Rosary, the chanting of Vespers, or evening prayer, and dinner at 6 p.m. In between dinner and Compline at 9 p.m., we are free again for study. We are able to retire for the evening after Compline.

The day is obviously a  busy and packed one, and can feel long. It moves very quickly, as do the weeks. Now that I am in my seventh and final year of seminary, I can honestly say that it has been a very swift seven years.

I spent the first three years of formation at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, one year in Rome at the Pontifical North American College, and now three years at Mt. St. Mary’s of the West in Cincinnati, Ohio. My favorite part of seminary, in all three I have attended, has always been the fraternity of men that come to follow God’s will in their lives. I imagine the fraternity we experience parallels with the military in that we are all fighting the good fight to reach a common goal: the priesthood of Jesus Christ.

It has not always been the easiest goal to pursue as every vocation challenges individuals to grow in holiness, but it has been the most rewarding I have experienced.

As ordination day grows closer, if God wills it, I can’t wait to serve the Lord as His priest and to bring people closer to Him.

I challenge all young men to seriously pray about their vocations, especially to the priesthood, because I know there are more men in the Archdiocese of Louisville who are called, many of whom will unfortunately not answer.

Be generous with your lives, and if God calls you, be not afraid!

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