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Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell makes its presence known on Jan. 22 at the March for Life in Washington. Click on photo to enlarge.
CROMWELL One goal of Holy Apostles College and Seminary is for everyone there to move with the Holy Spirit toward life.
That explains why the students, staff and faculty spend most of their time preparing the seminarians and students to go out into the world equipped with the faith of the Catholic Church.
One aspect of the faith that they dont put off for after graduation is witnessing to the Gospel of Life. Holy Apostles is home to the tomb of Adam, an unborn child who was the victim of abortion. It also is a hub for year-round activities devoted to furthering the Gospel of Life and seeking to support and protect those who are most vulnerable to the culture of death.
Each January, a group from Holy Apostles travels to Washington, D.C., to join pro-life activists from around the state and country for the annual March for Life.
Some 50-55 people represented Holy Apostles this year, most traveling on buses chartered by Connecticut Right to Life; some found their own transportation. This year, as in most years, the group included seminarians, lay students, faculty and staff.
Seminarian James Thandayath, who hails from India, said he was impressed and encouraged by several things he noticed.
"Most of the participants are very young. This is a new awakening. I saw a Lutherans for Life banner. Also, there were many bishops and cardinals at the youth Mass. The chaplains are there to care for their flock."
Brother Michael Espinoza, a member of the Congregation of Priests of Mercy, said a highlight of the trip was "singing in the procession with members of Cantius [Canons Regular of St. John], and lay students. We sang O God of Loveliness and When Jesus Wept," he said.
Louis Farley, a seminarian from the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, also was impressed by the youth of those he saw and the opportunity for life lessons that the march presented to them.
"There were many high school-age kids. When I noticed that, I thought they learned a lot more than they realized," he said. "Something like that, you cant help but be affected. It gives hope to the future of our Church."
The seminarians and lay students at Holy Apostles are a microcosm of the Catholic Church. Students and faculty come from the far reaches of the world: Asia; the Pacific islands; eastern Europe; and North, South and Central America.
They also represent a range of ages. Holy Apostles has a tradition of supporting older candidates in their studies for the priesthood; seminarians currently range in age from 20 to 67. Besides the consecrated religious (brothers and sisters of various orders) and those studying for the priesthood, there are lay students seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Holy Apostles recently has been recognized as one of the 20 recommended fully-accredited Catholic undergraduate programs in the nation.
Its students are educated in the Catholic intellectual tradition by a faculty of men and woman with doctorates from such schools as Yale, Columbia, Amherst, Oxford, and various institutes and universities of Rome and Paris, just to mention a few.
In addition to annual participation in the March for Life, some seminarians from Holy Apostles attend Mass with local members of the Helpers of Gods Precious Infants, an international organization dedicated to eradicating abortion through prayer, counseling and demonstrations at the offices of abortion providers. A procession to a local abortion center, where the 20 decades of the rosary are recited, follows.
Seminarians also join other lay people weekly to pray the rosary outside a local abortion clinic. Every Saturday, a holy hour is offered in the seminarys chapel, Queen of the Holy Apostles Chapel, for life and mercy. In addition to all of that, the seminarians pray daily that human life will be protected at Mass, recitation of the Divine Office, rosary and private prayer.
Stephen Sniscak, who is in his second year of theology studies, is president of Life League, the pro-life group at Holy Apostles College and Seminary