This Week At The Seminary:

November 12, 2017
23nd Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. Last weekend we had our first snowfall of the season---a total of 8 inches accumulation. But by now it is almost all gone. For a short time, however, the seminarians enjoyed playing in it. Lately, it has been rainy and not as cold. More snow is on the way, so winter has definitely arrived.

Every day in November we recite prayers for the faithful departed. We especially pray for all those whose names have been submitted. In addition, the seminarians will sing for a funeral this week, so it is a good thing they have been practicing during choir class the chants they will need to sing.

I will conclude my brief blog entry for this week by encouraging you to continue your prayers for our dear departed. May they soon be released from the purgatorial flames and enjoy everlasting bliss, where we hope to join them one day! May God bless you.



In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




November 5, 2017
22nd Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. It has been a busy week. On Tuesday we finished our First Quarter tests. On Wednesday there was a trip to the park in the afternoon of the holyday, followed by ice cream. On Thursday the seminarians sang a high Mass and attended one of the other Masses for All Souls Day. We also visited the cemetery after Mass, which I will write more about in the next paragraph. On Friday we put out the monthly mailing before going over to the church for First Friday Mass, followed by Benediction with devotions to the Sacred Heart. And then, last night, we received our first snowfall of the season. It is still snowing right now.

On All Souls Day we have a custom here of processing up the hill to the cemetery after Mass. We recite half the Rosary en route, and then prayers are said at the cemetery, during which the priest goes around the cemetery to sprinkle and then incense the graves. As we return to the church we recite the remainder of the Rosary. This year we were concerned about the weather--it had rained overnight and was threatening rain during Mass. Fortunately, however, the rain held up and we were able to have our procession and prayers.

On All Souls Day the seminarians also make as many visits to chapel as they can for the Poor Souls. As you know, this is known as the special Toties Quoties indulgence of All Souls Day. I hope that we released many souls, and that we will continue to do so throughout this month of November. We also remember all of you in our prayers. May God bless you and your families.



In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




October 29, 2017
Christ the King

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. Where does the time go? I realize that we missed the blog entry for last Sunday, so I will try to cover all the main happenings at the seminary over the past 2 week.

First, a week ago we received the latest entrant into our seminary. His name is Nicholas, and he is a freshman from western Washington. We are all glad to have another seminarian, and he has already adjusted quite well to seminary life.

On Friday, the seminarians enjoyed a field trip with the high school boys. Altogether, there were 10 boys and 2 teachers. We traveled to Wallace, Idaho, which is slightly more than an hour from the seminary. Wallace lies along I-90, about a dozen miles from the Montana/Idaho border. Our reason for going there was to visit the mining museum. Although it is a small museum, it is filled with information about the mining industry and about Wallace in particular. I was pleased to see the seminarians were all engaged in learning all they could from the various exhibits.

Wallace is called the Silver Capital of the World. Since the 1880's when it was discovered in the area, more silver has been mined in Wallace, Idaho, than in any other place in the world. Although there once were a dozen mines in operation there, right now there are only 2 mines open, which employ about 500 people. Wallace continues, each year, to produce more silver than any place else. On the other hand, there was also a terrible tragedy in the Silver Valley on May 2, 1971. When a fire broke out in the Sunshine Mine, 91 miners lost their lives. So we also visited the monument to the fallen miners just outside Wallace.

Our field trip concluded with some recreation at Shoshone Park nearby in Mullen, after we had traveled up to Lookout Pass to enjoy the beautiful fall scenery, with Tamarack trees turning color along the mountainsides. The weather was perfect for this trip, and we realize that the beautiful fall weather we are enjoying right now won't last long. Today, the seminarians will go to a local park to play football--it might be the last chance before the weather turns decidedly colder.

This week, of course, will be a busy one liturgically. Today, we had benediction of the Blessed Sacrament with our annual renewal of consecration to Christ the King. On Wednesday, there will be an outing with some hiking or other recreation. Then on Thursday, there will be the 3 Masses and a visit to the cemetery. We will also make as many visits as possible for the special Toties Quoties indulgence for the Poor Souls. We hope you also will do all you can to deliver souls from purgatory, especially this month. After all, we may one day be in their position, in need of the prayers of others. May God bless you and your loved ones.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




October 16, 2017
Saint Gerard Majella

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. It has been a wonderful 4 days of activity for the seminarians. On Thursday they attended all the lectures of the Fatima Conference, which lasted throughout the day, as well as the banquet and keynote address in the evening.

On Friday, they were able to serve for the bishop's Pontifical High Mass. This was followed, once again, by lectures. At least on Friday they had an afternoon break for some recreation. Then, after the evening meal at Mount Saint Michael, everyone lined up for the magnificent Rosary Procession. Since it was the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions, the procession was the most splendid ever. There was a float, decorated and well-lit, with a large statue of Our Lady of Fatima. All the people carried lighted candles, praying and singing as we went along. It was so well-attended, both by guests for the Conference and by the local parishioners of St. Michael's and Mary Immaculate Queen churches, that the crowd was estimated to be about 900 persons!

On Saturday the seminarians stayed home and cleaned the house, setting up for the guests who would visit on Sunday. They worked hard for much of the day, and their efforts showed it. On Sunday our Open House began with an explanatory lecture in the church, followed by a visit to the various buildings here, including the seminary. The ladies of the parish had provided a lunch for the guests, which was greatly appreciated. Everyone had a wonderful time, and the seminarians were able to visit with the guests and explain to them about their life here in the seminary.

Finally, on Sunday evening,we went back to the Mount for chanted Vespers, Supper and the closing ceremonies. These consisted in the recitation of the Rosary, devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, various hymns to Our Blessed Mother, closing comments of the Conference and final Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. It was an excellent way to conclude the annual Conference. We returned home Sunday night tired but happy, after the many wonderful events of the week. May God bless you.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




October 8, 2017
Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. It is going to be a busy week here at the seminary. Monday and Tuesday will be regular class days, but on Wednesday, we will have only a half day of classes. That will be followed by a work party to rake the grounds and prepare for our Open House for the Fatima Conference, which will be next Sunday. It will be nice to have the out-of-town guests visit the seminary, and we look forward to meeting them. Perhaps some of you will also be attending?

On Thursday and Friday the seminarians will attend all the events of the Conference. They will attend the lectures and meet the various priests who are coming. On Friday they will serve for the Bishop's Pontifical High Mass and then close out the day be attending the beautiful outdoor candlelight procession. On Saturday they will stay home and do their regular Saturday chores. Then, on Sunday evening we will go back up to Mount Saint Michael for Vespers and the closing ceremonies.

Of course, we continue our daily public Rosary with exposition in the seminary chapel (although we will not be able to do so on Thursday and Friday, due to the events of the Conference.) All in all, the month of October is a beautiful time of year, with the leaves turning colors and all the events we are involved with. We especially remember this month the request of Our Lady, that we pray the Rosary every day. May we all be faithful in fulfilling that request and in pleasing Our Lady. May God bless you and your families.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




October 1, 2017
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. After the busy-ness of the previous week (with my brother's death and funeral), this past week has been for me a week of getting back into the routine of daily classes and seminary schedule. (I am most grateful to the teachers who substituted for me during the previous week!) We finished on Friday the first half of the quarter, which means our first grading period. Right now I am grading the last few papers and averaging grades for the mid-quarter reports.

There will be a few special events of this week. Tomorrow we will put out our monthly mailing. On Tuesday the seminarians will sing a High Mass in honor of the Little Flower. Then on Friday and Saturday we will have benediction with devotions, as we always do on the First Friday and First Saturday of the month. Also, today we begin a daily public Rosary with exposition, which will last throughout the month of the Rosary.

This week will also be for me a busy week of preparation for the annual Fatima Conference. The seminarians always look forward to this event, which I will tell you more about next Sunday. For now, I wish to encourage you to especially be faithful to the daily Rosary, as Our Lady requested at Fatima. We need the special graces obtained through the devout recitation of the Rosary today more than ever. May God bless you and your families.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




September 24, 2017
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. It has been an extraordinary week. We finally received a good amount of rainful, and it was much cooler this week than normal.

On Saturday, the seminarians helped Mr. Keaveney harvest the grapes in our vineyard, and what a bumper crop it was! There still are several rows of vines that have not yet been harvested. We planted a vineyard just over 2 years ago, and already it is producing a plentiful amount of grapes. The purpose is to make our own altar wine, so that is something new we are trying to learn. The seminarians worked all day yesterday with harvesting and helping Mr. Keaveney begin the process of wine-making.

For me it has been a grace-filled week but emotionally draining week. One of my brothers passed away on Wednesday, after spending the last 6 weeks in the hospital. He had been away from the sacraments for many years and finally, the day before he died, asked to receive the sacraments. You can imagine my joy in being able to anoint him and know that he died well-prepared. Please remember in your prayers the repose of the soul of Francis Patrick Hughes. He was 61 years of age. Thank you for your prayers!

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




September 17, 2017
Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. Finally, the weather has turned noticeably cooler, and we are expecting rain this week. It is much needed, both to clean the atmosphere and water the parched soil. It has been extremely dry the past 2 months.

This past week we finally started something that the boys look forward to--and that is a weekly trip to the local city park for P.E. We do not have an adequately level field here at the seminary for sports activities, so a trip to the park is always appreciated. That is something we usually do on Wednesday afternoons in the fall and spring.

We also celebrated the feast of Our Lady's Holy Name this past week. There was a feastday dinner, capping off the triduum prayers we had recited in preparation for her feast. Of course, we also sang Vespers, which is a wonderful way to celebrate the feasts of our heavenly Mother.

Other than that, the past week has been a normal one for our seminarians. They continue to pursue their studies as they settle into the routine. Soon we will arrive at the end of the first mid-quarter period. So, as you can see, our school year proceeds along. Each day is an opportunity for progress and growth in God's grace. May we all profit by His abundant grace.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




September 10, 2017
Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. Last week in our blog entry I mentioned the smoke from the wildfires. When I wrote that (last Sunday) it wasn't too bad, but by Tuesday the amount of smoke in the air caused unhealthy conditions. The local health department even urged schools and parents to keep their children inside. Ironically, although we have had some small local fires, almost all the smoke came from Montana, British Columbia and western Washington. Fortuantely, in the last couple of days the weather finally has turned cooler and the breezes have pushed much of that smoke out of the area. Now we could use some rain!

On Friday, of course, we celebrated the feast of Our Lady's nativity, which is one of her major feastdays. In keeping with our custom here, the seminarians chanted Vespers of Our Lady for the feastday--something which we will continue doing throughout the school year, on all feast of our Blessed Mother. Considering that it was their first time chanting Vespers this year, they did quite well. It should become easier as we go through the year, with 2 more feasts of Our Lady this week alone. We also continue the practice of chanting Compline every Sunday night.

We have now concluded our second week of classes, and the seminarians are gradually settling into the routine. This week we will be having our first real tests, now that we have covered enough material, so we will see how well the seminarians are learning the material they have been covering. Based on their participation in class and their diligence in doing their homework, it looks like they will do well.

I would like, once again, to thank you for your interest in our seminary and for your support. Please continue to pray daily for our seminary, for the formation of these young mena nd that many more will join us. May God bless you.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




September 03, 2017
Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. Last week we left for the lake (Lake Coeur d'Alene) on Wednesday after classes. The boys had a great time canoeing, swimming and playing games. After an overnight--with Mass at the cabin--we returned to the seminary late Thursday, in order to be ready for classes, as well as Mass and benediction, on Friday. First Fridays are always important in our school and seminary, which devotions to the Sacred Heart during Benediction after Mass.

Yesterday, after chores, the seminarians went to an outdoor concert. Today they are out on a hike. As you can see, Frater Augustine is keeping them busy on the days off, especially at the beginning of the year. We don't want to ever see them bored! So far the morale has been excellent, as our 3 seminarians become comfortable in following the schedule and adapting to their new, semi-permanent home.

We are a bit behind this month with The Guardian newsletter, so the September issue will go in the mail on Wednesday. With the holiday tomorrow, it won't be printed until Tuesday. It will contain plenty of photos from the boys' camp, as well as our first week of the new year here at the seminary. (We also have new photos up on our website, so be sure to take a look.) One thing you will notice in the photos is the smoke from the wildfires in Washington State. The weather continues to be very warm, even hot, as we approach autumn. We could use some rain to diminish the chance of wild fires and to clean out the atmosphere.

Please continue your prayers for the success of our school year. May God bless you and your families.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




August 27, 2017
Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. I am sorry for the delay in getting to the blog. The last couple weeks have been quite busy, but now we are finally settling into a routine, as the new school year begins, so I should finally be able to keep up with the blog on a weekly basis.

Once again our annual Boy's Camp was a great success, with 68 boys in attendance, along with several priests and laymen to help with the supervision. Numerous activities kept the boys busy, but the favorites seemed to be the day at the lake and paintball. Of course, there is daily Mass and prayer, along with priestly guidance for the boys and young men in attendance. Let us pray that some of these boys will go on to become priests one day. The photos from the Boys' Camp will be up on our website soon, and we will have an article on it in the forthcoming newsletter.

As far as the seminary here, we begin classes tomorrow. There will only be three young men here this year. It is disappointing that there are not more vocations, and there are many reasons for that. I will write more about this topic in our September newsletter.

This first week of school will be an introduction to seminary life. We start with the orientation and then go through the seminary rules and policies. Also, we will have a short 2-day outing to Lake Coeur d'Alene to kick off the new year. It will give the boys an opportunity to get to know one another and have a final summer outing before getting down to serious school work. So let's hope and pray for a great school year--our 19th here at Saint Joseph Seminary! May God bless you all.



In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




August 6, 2017
Transfiguration of Our Lord (9th Sunday after Pentecost)

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. It has been 2 months since my last blog entry, but I now plan to keep up with a regular weekly entry, as we prepare to begin a new school year. Right now, our annual Boys' Camp is beginning, and there are dozens of boys (more than 50) all over the property here. They have come from throughout the western United States, with even some boys from places back East. Tomorrow morning several priests will fly in to assist with the activities of the Boys' Camp. I will give you a full report in next Sunday's blog, as well as in the September issue of our newsletter.

Speaking of The Guardian, we just mailed (on Friday) the August issue, so you should receive it shortly. If you are not a subscriber and wish to receive each monthly issue, just write to request to be added to our mailing list. You can also read each issue on this website.

In other news, I would like to offer my congratulations to a former student, Brother Mary Aloysius, CMRI, who just made profession of First Vows as a religious yesterday. Also, Christopher Peck, who spent the last 9 months as a postulant Brother here at the minor seminary, was received into the novitate, taking the new name in religion of Brother Louis Marie, CMRI. Let us pray for these young men as they continue in the service of God, and let us pray for many more vocations.

I will conclude this brief entry on the blog, asking for your continued prayers for our seminary. The beginning of a new scholastic year is always an exciting time, as we welcome new students to the seminary. Classes will begin in just 3 weeks.



In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




June 4, 2017
Pentecost Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. With all the activity of the past week, we were not able to finish The Guardian for July until the end of the week. Consequently, the mailing will go out tomorrow, so you can expect to receive the June edition soon.

Yesterday was a wonderful day with senior graduation and Mass by His Excellency. Mark is our lone graduate this year, and we also had several graduates from our parish school (Mary Immaculate Queen School). Afterwards, Mark gave his valedictorian speech, sharing memories of his past 3 years at the seminary.

This will be a short week, with the school year concluding after a half day on Wednesday. It will give us time to wrap up the year, clean the seminary, and pack up for the summer. With the summer vacation at hand, I will not be able to write a regular blog entry, but will try to do so about every 2 or 3 weeks.

We wish you all a most enjoyable and relaxing summer. May we all continue to cooperate with God's grace and serve Him at all times of the year!



In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




May 28, 2017
Sunday after the Ascension

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. We held our annual school-support jog-a-thon this past Wednesday. All the seminarians participated, as did the teachers. So I have been a bit sore the past few days, but it was well worth it. Fortunately, the weather on Wednesday was relatively cool, so the conditions were good. Robert, one of our seminarians, won the prize for the most laps run in an hour. (He ran 51 of the 1/8 mile laps, which computes to a bit more than 6 miles.)

On Thursday after Mass and breakfast, the seminarians helped Father Anthony to pack up the canoes and other supplies and then headed off on their camping trip. They will return later today, so I don't have any news yet to share with you on this annual event. One thing is for sure, however, and that is that they have had great weather. There has been no rain and plenty of sun for the past week. There should be plenty of news to hear when they return--you can look forward to an article in the next Guardian newsletter on the camping trip.

This week will be quite a busy one. Tomorrow on Memorial Day we will have our Queenship procession, which is a most beautiful tribute to Our Lady. We hold this procession on Monday so that more parishioners can attend. Then, on Wednesday, we will have a solemn High Mass in honor of Our Lady's Queenship, followed by the renewal of total consecration to Jesus through Mary. Thursday will be a shool outing to Farragut State Park. On Friday there will be a day of recollection for the confirmandi, and on Saturday there will be senior graduation and confirmation by the Bishop.

As you can see, it will be a busy week, to say the least. Before we know it, the year will end and the seminarians will return to their homes for the summer vocation. But please continue to pray for them and for more vocations to our seminary. May God bless you.



In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




May 21, 2017
Fifth Sunday after Easter

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. Time is quickly winding down on our school year, but there are many events left to complete. Yesterdsay was to have been the annual jog-a-thon (a school fund-raiser), but due to rain, it had to be postponed. This is the first time that has happened, in the 10+ years we have held it. So we will make that up on one of the days this week.

On Thursday, the seminarians will head out on their annual camping trip to conclude the school year. Originally, the plan was to go to Glacier National Park, but parts of the park are still closed from the heavy snows of the past winter, so the camping trip will be closer to home in northern Idaho. There are plenty of places to explore in our mountains and wilderness, so I am sure they will have a great time with Father Anthony.

Our senior graduation will take place on June 3rd. We are grateful that His Excellency, Bishop Pivarunas, will be able once again to be present, and we look forward to his visit to the seminary. This year we have only one seminarian who is graduating (Mark Vincent), but it is nevertheless a joyous occasion to reflect on the graces of the past school year and all the years we have had here at Saint Joseph Seminary. Please keep us all in your prayers, and particularly, pray for new vocations for the coming year.



In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




May 7, 2017
Third Sunday after Easter

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. This morning we had the great joy of witnessing the First Holy Communion of 5 of our parish children. This ceremony is always a great delight and a reminder of our own First Communion many years ago. How greatly Our Lord loves each of us, to allow us to receive Him so often. The Mass was a High Mass with incense, served by our seminarians.

This past Friday was the mid-quarter, which means the serminarians will receive grade slips tomorrow, indicating their progress. Now there are only 4 weeks of school remaining, with many activities and events to look forward to. This week, actually, will be a quiet week, with no special events until Friday, when we will have a Rosary procession here. Then, on Saturday, the seminarians will celebrate Our Lady's apparition by attending the public Rosary procession.

On Thursday of this week, many of our seminarians in the major seminary will advance in the various steps toward the priesthood. I will go to Omaha for important this event. Let us all pray for these men, to become good and holy priests in Our Lord's vineyard.

This week the seminarians here will conclude the annual pool tournament. After that, they will look forward to their end-of-year camping trip. There always seems to be a lot going on here, but most importantly, we maintain our daily schedule of prayer, classes, etc. Every moment is precious which God gives us. May we all use this time to love and serve Our Lord!



In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




April 30, 2017
Second Sunday after Easter

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. This past week was the first week back to classes after our Spring Break (Easter Week). Now already we are looking at the mid-quarter, which is coming up on Friday. The Fourth Quarter seems to go by very quickly, so we hope that our seminarians will make the most of the final part of the school year.

This past Friday we were invited to spend the evening with a parish couple who are particularly supportive of our seminary. They provided a delicious salmon dinner, and there were plenty of games and other activities to make for an enjoyable evening. Father Anthony stayed there overnight with the seminarians, having Saturday Mass at our chapel in Coeur d'Alene, while I returned to the seminary in order to have the public Mass here on Saturday. Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Vern Slater for your generous hospitality!.

This week the seminarians will begin the annual pool tournament, which will take place over the next 2 weeks. Also, as we begin tomorrow the month of May, we will have our daily public Rosary and May crowning. May we all grow this month in our devotion to Our Blessed Mother!



In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




April 23, 2017
Low Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. It has been a quiet and relaxing week for all of us--both priests and seminarians. At the seminary, Father Anthony has been keeping the seminarians busy with projects and recreational activities, while I have been on an extended mission in New England with Mark, our soon-to-graduate seminarian.

After the beautiful Holy Week and Easter ceremonies, Mark and I have been traveling around for some sight-seeing and mission work. We had Mass at two different homes in New Jersey and one in Maryland. We also visited some of the sights in Washington D. C. and in the Boston area. I trust Mark will tell you all about it in our next newsletter.

One of the things we often hear when traveling on a Mass circuit is how much these faithful Catholics want a resident priest. Those who have a church with a resident priest are inclined to take it for granted or at least to forget what a blessing it is, but visiting with our fellow Catholics who do not have such a blessing is a reminder of the tremendous need for more vocations. Let us pray every day for that intention--and not only for more vocations, but especially for holy priests and religious.

As we return to classes this week, we are only 6 weeks away from the end of the school year. Time passes quickly, and I pray that the seminarians are using their time in the seminary to the fullest and growing every day in their love of God and in virtue. May God grant bless each of you. Thank you for your prayers and support.



In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




April 16, 2017
Easter Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. You are probably aware of the fact that I travel to Boston once or twice a month, to attend to our two parishes in New England: Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Salem, New Hampshire, and Saint Theresa in Oakland, Maine. Well, this year I have turned over the responsibilities for the final few days of Holy Week at our parish of Mary Immaculate Queen in Rathdrum, Idaho, to Father Anthony. Now for the first time since I began traveling to this mission 12 years ago, I have had the Holy Week ceremonies in New England.

Accompanying me on this trip is our senior seminarian, Mark Vincent. This trip is giving him an introduction to the work of priests in the mission fields of our country and also serves as his senior trip. During the coming week we will travel together down to Washington, D. C., for some sightseeing and will also visit some traditional Catholics in that area, who rarely ever have Mass.

The Holy Week ceremonies have been beautiful, and so you can look forward to seeing some photos on our website in the coming weeks. I am sure that one of the seminarians will also be writing an article on their involvement in the liturgy for our May issue of the newsletter. As I have mentioned before, it is a joy to have devout young men to assist in the liturgy. It certainly makes the task of the priest much easier to have skilled servers, who have been serving since their boyhood. May God grant that from their number we will one day have devout and holy priests. Let us all pray for that intention.



In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




April 2, 2017
Passion Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. Well, here we are again, 2 weeks after the last blog entry. Despite my good intentions, the time seems to slip away. We are always busy at the seminary, and that is a good thing, but I will do my best to keep up with a weekly entry for the rest of the school year. So here is a summary of the past 2 weeks:

We just finished this past week the Third Quarter of the school year. Yesterday, the seminarians received their grade cards, copies of which have also been mailed to their parents. Also, the past 2 weeks have witnessed the activity of our annual chess tournament. We began with a "Round Robin", where each seminarian plays every other seminarian. That was followed by the tournament itself, which will end today. I told the seminarians that it must be finished by today, so that we can concentrate on the Passion of Our Lord for the next fortnight during this sacred time of Passiontide. So I will have to wait until next Sunday to tell you who is the winner of this year's tournament. Actually, they are all excellent players. Chess is quite popular here, and all the seminarians have improved tremendously over the past few months.

During this past weekend we have also had our annual Forty Hours adoration. Many of the traditional parishes around the country are too small to hold a Forty Hours, but ours, although not large at about 250 members, is still large enough to have this wonderful practice. At one time, every Catholic parish would hold the Forty Hours sometime during the course of the year, as you likely will recall from your youth. It is an opportunity to offer reparation to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament for all the offenses committed against Him.

Our Forty Hours began with a High Mass of the Blessed Sacrament at 10:30 a.m. on Friday. Immediately after Mass, there was a procession of the Blessed Sacrament through the church, followed by the chanting of the Litany of the Saints. Our Lord remained exposed until 9:00 p.m. on Saturday. During this time there were 2 public Holy Hours (at 8:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night), which, of course, the seminarians participated in. Throughout the night of Friday night the seminarians made Holy Hours, sacrificing an hour (or more) of sleep, and walking over to the church in the middle of the night, according to their assigned hour.

Then, after the 9:00 a.m. Mass this morning, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed again for the remaining 7 hours of adoration. At 4:30 this afternoon we will have the closing ceremonies, which include the chanting of the Litany, another procession and then the concluding Benediction. It is a joy to perform these ceremonies, especially with the skilled help of the seminarians. They have all been serving Mass since they were quite young and are all accomplished servers, so they have a "knack" for the rubrics of the liturgy and are a great help. Last night, for example, after reposition of the Blessed Sacrament, they put up all the purple covers on the statues before going to bed. So it has been a blessed and beautiful weekend. Speaking of which, it is time for me to go over to the church for my Holy Hour, so I will have to sign off!

I wish you all a grace-filled Passiontide--a beautiful time to concentrate exclusively on the Passion of Our Lord. We will never fully fathom His infinite love for us, His poor creatures. May we all grow in lover for our divine Savior.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




March 19, 2017
Third Sunday in Lent

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. It was not possible for me to write a blog entry last weekend, so I shall cover the past 2 weeks in today's entry. Of course, the most important event of these past 2 weeks was our annual Lenten retreat. Although I was not present, the seminarians have all assured me that they enjoyed it and profited spiritually from the sermons and various activities, including the all-night vigil of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Father Dominic Radecki even shared some of his magic tricks with the seminarians, and they are still scratching their heads trying to figure out how he performed them. It was a wonderful weekend and was the first experience at a retreat for two of the boys.

On Friday we celebrated Saint Patrick's Day with the annual talent show. The seminarians compose poetry or sing a song, competing for the prize. It is a fun annual event that we have observed over the past few years. Also, during this past week the seminarians have made Saint Joseph cords. These will be blessed tomorrow, on the feast of our great seminary patron. The seminarians will sing the High Mass and the day will be celebrated as a feast-day, without the regular class schedule.

We also celebrated Saint Joseph and Saint Patrick this morning in our parish, as the seminarians provided a breakfast after both Sunday morning Masses, complete with the traditional "blarney stone" confection. They spent a good amount of time over the past couple of days, in preparation for this event, which supports our seminary.

We also began a few days ago the annual chess tournament. The games can be intense but fascinating to watch, as the contestants match their wits in friendly rivalry. Of course, we also continue our Lenten practices, making sacrifices for the love of Jesus, Who suffered so much for us. Let us all continue in these final 4 weeks of Lent, to fulfill the penances which we began at the beginning of this season. May it be, for each of us, a time of many blessings and spiritual growth.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




March 5, 2017
First Sunday in Lent

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. The past week has been a busy one, not only with Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, but with work on the ongoing kitchen/dining room project. The kitchen has been nearly finished, so the dining room has been the focus of late. First, everything was moved out of the dining room. Then the ceiling was textured and painted. Following this, the new flooring was laid. Then the walls were painted and the trim work was done. Finally, the tables, chairs and other items were put back on Saturday. There is still some trim work left to be completed, but for the most part, the dining room is finished. The next focus will be the food storage area, which is in a hallway off the kitchen.

Our annual Lenten retreat will begin this coming Friday. The priest who will give the weekend retreat this year will be Father Dominic Radecki, CMRI. Consequently, I will travel to California to cover for him on Sunday. Please remember in your prayers our seminarians, that the retreat will be a source of grace for them, particularly in discerning their vocation.

May we all make a good Lent, especially by meditating daily on the Passion of Jesus, our Savior. That contemplation provides a wealth of food for thought. May it be for each of us a source of grace and amendment of life.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




February 26, 2017
Quinquagesima Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. As you can imagine, the liturgy of Holy Mother Church is a primary focus in the seminary. The seminarians participate in the various liturgical functions, especially by serving Mass and benediction. But there are also special events, such as the upcoming ceremonies of Ash Wednesday. Each of the seminarians has a part in these liturgical functions, and their involvement instills a love and appreciation for the liturgy, which is of paramount importance for any priest.

Many Catholics dread the approach of Lent, but one good priest I knew used to refer to Lent as the "spiritual harvest time," when many graces are available to us, more than at other times of the year. Although grace is given to us throughout the year and at each liturgical season, it is the season of Lent that is paticularly beneficial. The reason is that during this season we are doing penance in union with the entire Mystical Body of Christ. Catholics throughout the world are fasting and performing other penances, so you might say that all of us are, in unison, crying out to God for His mercy upon us and upon this world. This union with the other members of the Mystical Body gives our penitential practices an added value.

At the seminary, in addition to the seminarians' private penitential acts, there are other things that we do as a group. These would include the Stations and similar Lenten practices, fewer recreational activities, and an added emphasis on meditations and readings on the Passion of Jesus, our beloved Savior. May we all grow spiritually by spending this Lent well. If we do so, we will achieve a closer union with Christ crucified and Our Lady of Sorrows. That closer union will help us to live our faith better and advance in the spiritual life.

Finally, here at the seminary we have just finished the first half of the quarter, and so the seminarians will receive their "mid-quarter" grade reports in the next couple days. Time continues to march on. May we all use it well, in order to know, love and serve God better each day.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




February 19, 2017
Sexagesima Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. On Friday the seminarians enjoyed their third and final trip to Silver Mountain. The conditions were perfect for skiing, as the sun was out all day, and there had been 8 inches of new snow the night before. They had a great time, while I sat in the lodge reading! Then, on Saturday, the seminarians attended an all day First Aid course. They learned how to administer First Aid in various circumstances, and especially how to administer CPR. Now they have been certified to administer First Aid in emergencies. It was quite an intense course, lasting all day, but it was well worth it.

They have also been playing ping-pong any chance they get, as the annual tournament is underway. This past week was the "Round Robin" portion of the tournament, and this week will be the actual tournament itself. With so few contestants, we can play double-elimination, which gives everyone a chance to play a good number of games. The competition can be quite intense, with many of the games going into overtime. Win or lose, they are enjoying the competition.

Of course, Lent is only 10 days off. As we have done in the past, each seminarian will submit a list of extra penances and prayers to his spiritual director. We also have extra devotions during Lent, such as the Stations and the Chaplet of our Sorrowful Mother. Since Lent is such an important season, it is important we plan now to spend it well.

Also, in religion class, we have been studying the various Gospel accounts of the Passion of Our Lord. Just a few days ago I was explaining to them the proofs for the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, which I was privileged to see twice (in 1978 and again in 2000). Interestingly, when I explained to them that the Holy Shroud is a perfect photographic negative--something which was unknown before the 19th century--proving that could not have been a painting from the Middle Ages as the naysayers assert, they had a puzzled look on their faces. Then it hit me that they have grown up with digital photography and have no idea how pictures used to be developed. So the class turned into a lesson on how film was developed before the advent of digital photography, and what we mean by a negative. This week they will see a video on the Shroud, helping them to understand what a treasure it is and how it reminds us of Our Lord's terrible sufferings.

I pray that we all will understand better this Lent how much our loving Savior suffered for us. May our meditations on Our Lord's sufferings inspire us to be willing to sacrifice for love of Him!

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




February 12, 2017
Septuagesima Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. Today is the first of three Sundays which are sometimes called the season of "pre-Lent." This brief 16-day period before Ash Wednesday serves as a reminder that Lent is just around the corner, so we must prepare to make a good Lent. What a tragedy--among many others--that the Conciliar Church eliminated these Sundays, instead just using the term "ordinary time." Such a bland term destroys the concept of a proper, thoughtful preparation for Lent.

Here at the seminary, we begin to turn our attention to the holy season of Lent. The seminarians, as they did for Advent, will submit a list of penances and extra prayers that they will perform during Lent. The purpose of submitting these practices to their spiritual director is to obtain permission, and thus be assured of the blessing of God upon their penances. It is important to make sure that they are prudent and don't take on too much penance, which might impair their ability to perform their daily duty and harm their health.

Speaking of daily duty, we all know that it is our first penance. It would make no sense to choose penances for Lent but fail to fulfill our daily duty. For the seminarians, their daily duty is to fulfill their school work, which develops their God-given intellects. God expects us to use our talents and develop them. The life of a seminarian is one of gradual growth--mentally, physically, and above all, spiritually.

There also are those opportunities for recreation. This past Friday was another ski day, and the conditions were again good, after all the new snow from the previous few days. We hope that they will be able to have one final ski day before the season is over. We will also begin, this week, the annual table tennis ("ping-pong") tournament, which will conclude before Lent. May God grant each of us the grace of a good Lent, and a closer union with Jesus crucified.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




February 5, 2017
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. The past few days have provided the seminarians with ample opportunity for serving the liturgy. On Thursday we had our annual blessing and procession of candles, followed by High Mass. Then, on Friday and Saturday we had benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, which we do every First Friday and First Saturday. This morning there was a High Mass with incense. It is a joy to have young men serve who are conscientious and devout in performing their various functions in the liturgy. So well do they fulfill their part that I rarely have to comment on something which was done incorrectly.

Right now it is snowing... again. We had nearly a foot of snow between Friday and Saturday. Then last night it rained, and now it is snowing. Mother Nature is reminding us that winter is not yet over. But no matter--on Friday the seminarians will have their second ski outing. The conditions should be excellent, with all the new snow we have received and that is forecast for the next few days.

Last week the seminarians had their final basketball game of the season, which was a victory. After losing their first few games, they have won the last two, showing how much they have improved since the beginning of the season. Now that the basketball season is over for them, we will turn our attention to the annual tournaments of indoor sports. The first on the agenda is the table tennis tournament, which will begin soon. As you can see, the goal is to keep them busy, as they continue their daily regimen of prayer, study, recreation and chores.

Finally, this Saturday is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, a wonderful reminder of the love of our heavenly Mother for her children. Then, on Saturday evening, we will say "farewell" to the alelluia verse in the liturgy until Easter, reminding us that Lent is not far away. May we all make a good Lent and thus merit many graces as we continue on our path to heaven.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




January 29, 2017
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. Due to the many activities of the past 2 weeks, I missed the blog entry last Sunday. So I will comment on the events of the past 2 weeks. First, there was a busy week in which we concluded the Second Quarter, saw the installation of new countertops and cabinets in our kitchen, went on the first skiing trip of the season, and had an avalanche of snow and ice come off our roof in one day. As you can imagine, it was quite a hectic week!

In particular, the snow finally came off the roof. After several successive snowfalls in early January, there was a large amount of snow on the long seminary roof. Normally, the snow will come off in large sheets within a day or two of a snowfall. A thunderous sound warns us that it is coming down. But this year, with the cold temperatures, the snow remained on the roof, gradually building up. The heat from the house would cause the bottom layer to melt and then re-freeze, leaving a good amount of ice along with the snow. But finally the weather warmed enough to finally bring the snow cascading off the roof. One particularly large amount came down while Father Anthony was offering Mass in the seminary chapel. Right about the time of the consecration of the Mass, the snow and ice came down, damaging the electrical supply to the house and causing us to lose power. After about 30 seconds the generator kicked on and there was light once again in the chapel. Fortunately, the power company was able to send workers up that very afternoon to restore the electric power.

There was also an incident involving a delivery truck. On the road up to the seminary it slid off the icy road, knocking over a tree. A tow truck was required to pull the delivery truck out of the ditch. But all the snow did make for good skiing conditions, as both first-timers and veterans enjoyed the first of several outings to Silver Mountain.

Last week was highlighted by the visit of the priests to the seminary. Each year, His Excellency and all our priests gather at Mount Saint Michael for several days of meetings. On Wednesday they all came here to the minor seminary for a visit and dinner. The opportunity for our seminarians to visit with a large number of priests is always a source of inspiration to them, so I am glad that we are able to maintain this tradition.

Now, things are back to "normal" for this week, with the one exception of Candlemas Day, February 2nd. All the seminarians participate in the solemn blessing and procession of candles, which will be followed by a High Mass. We also will send out our monthly newsletter, The Guardian, on Wednesday. Please continue to remember our seminary in your prayers, especially that these young men will grow in Christlike virtue and in grace. We read just a few weeks ago the Gospel story of the Finding in the Temple, which tells us that "Jesus advanced in wisdom, age and grace, before God and men." May our young men, and all of us, likewise grow daily in God's grace.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




January 15, 2017
Second Sunday after Epiphany

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. Well, it has been quite a momentous week. Of course, it was our first full week back to the normal class routine after the Christmas vacation. Also, we had an infant burial this past week. The death of an infant is a great sorrow for the parents, but it is also a joyous occasion, as the baby had been baptized in the hospital and is therefore in heaven. In fact, the Mass on that occasion is a Mass of the Angels in white vestments. After the Mass we went up to the cemetery, where we walked through the path--which had been shoveled in the deep snow--to the grave. The seminarians were privileged to serve for this occasion.

The snow... it just keeps coming. The temperature has not been above freezing for at least 3 weeks, if not longer. That means the snow on our roof has not come cascading down, as it usually does soon after a snowfall. Long icicles hang down along the edge of the roof. It is beautiful to behold, but also a source of concern for the weight of the snow on the roofs. So this week the seminarians spent a couple days in shoveling the snow from the roofs of the church, school building, barn and a few other buildings. At least we won't have roofs caving in from the snow.

We also had our gift-opening, to celebrate the Epiphany, as we recall the presentation of gifts by the Magi to the Christ Child. In addition, the seminarians chose the name of a saint, who will be their extra patron for this year. We also continue to live with our kitchen in disarray, as the remodeling project nears completion. It will be nice to soon have the use of the kitchen again.

This week will be the final week of the semester. On Friday the seminarians will head up to Silver Mountain for their first ski trip of the year. Both beginners and the experienced will be able to enjoy all the snow we have seen this winter, as they course down the mountain.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




January 8, 2017
Feast of the Holy Family

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. On Thursday we recommenced classes at the seminary. But Thursday was partially taken up with a practice for the chanting for the blessing of Epiphany water, which was done Thursday evening. Then, on Friday, we had a High Mass for the feast of the Epiphany. Now, with all seminarians back, we will get down to regular classes tomorrow morning, with just 2 weeks left of the semester.

Last week I mentioned in this blog the major project of our kitchen renovation. The new cabinets are in, but the floor and counter have not yet been done, nor has the new sink been installed yet. So we are still without a functional kitchen, which will require a couple more weeks to be completed. But it is only a minor inconvenience to have to walk over to the church for our meals in the parish hall (church basement).

Right now it is snowing... again. We had 3-4 inches last night, but all had been plowed before Mass in the morning, so our parishioners were able to attend Mass, as well as our Christmas-season parish potluck after Mass. But even more snow is forecase for the next few days, which will keep our seminarians busy with shoveling. Of course, regular classes go on every weekday here. Students in our parish school may have a snow day here and there, but not the seminarians. Their reward for all that shoveling, however, will be a ski trip coming up in another couple weeks. May God bless you and your families on this wonderful feast of the Holy Family!

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




January 2, 2017
Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. The seminary has been quiet, but soon we will be back to regular classes. In the meantime, there has been plenty of snow, and now the weather is going to turn quite cold. Fortunately, the walks have all been shoveled, so we will be able to stay indoors during the cold snap.

Speaking on indoors, a major project is underway in the seminary. At long last, our kitchen is receiving a complete makeover, with new cupboards, new sink, new everything. The old seminary kitchen was badly in need of a remodel, and the Christmas vacation was the perfect time to get this project underway. The remodel is being accomplished by Mr. Mark Vincent, father of one of our seminarians. We still have a ways to go before we can move in and use the new kitchen, so in the meantime, our meals are over at the church, in the downstairs parish hall. That is only a slight inconvenience, and we look forward to the new kitchen, once it is finished.

As for myself, I am trying to get a few odds and ends done before our classes resume on Thursday. Once that happens, it will be back to the normal busy routine here at the seminary. May God bless you all.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




December 18, 2016
4th Sunday of Advent

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,


Praised be Jesus and Mary. It has been very cold and snowy lately. The snow makes for work (shoveling), but it also makes for fun with sledding and other winter sports. On the other hand, it can also be dangerous with accidents. I am sorry to say that one of our seminarians was involved in a bad sledding accident Friday night. Kevin LeStage, our youngest seminarian at 14 years of age, sustained a number of serious injuries when he slid off the sled into a tree. Please join us in earnestly praying for him at this time. As of now, Kevin is still in the hospital recovering.

This week will be a short one as far as classes are concerned. After a half day on Wednesday, the seminarians will leave for their Christmas vacation. We hope that all of you will enjoy this Christmas with your families. Let us continue to spend our Advent well during this final week, that we might rejoice in celebrating the birth of our Savior at Christmas. May God bless you all.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




December 11, 2016
3rd Sunday of Advent

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

At last the snows have arrived. The seminarians don't mind the shoveling, as long as they can enjoy sledding! And, it certainly is beautiful to see the snow on our evergreen trees here around the seminary:

Our Christmas vacation is now just 10 days away, so there is a lot to get done before then. This week we will bring out the decoration and prepare for decorating the seminary next week. We also will begin to have serving practices for the Christmas midnight Mass. It is important to avoid putting off these preparations to the last few days before Christmas.

Tomorrow is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We will have a celebration in Our Lady's honor here at the seminary. Reflecting on the beautiful words of Our Lady to Juan Diego and to his uncle Juan Bernardino, should fill us with great confidence in the loving intercession of our heavenly Mother, who keeps us in her loving care at all times.

Finally, with just 2 weeks until Christmas, let us on this Guadete Sunday renew our Advent resolutions. Let us redouble our efforts to make a good Advent, that we might more worthily receive our Redeemer on Christmas.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




December 04, 2016
2nd Sunday of Advent

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

This week will be highlighted by the feast of the Immaculate Conception. We are currently praying a novena to prepare for this important feastday. With no classes on that holyday, the seminarians will enjoy an outing and are hoping that there will be more snow for some sledding. So far, there have been only a few small snowfalls, but colder weather is on the way.

The seminarians will also have their first basketball game this week against another small school. For most of them, playing basketball is a new activity, so they are all learning but greatly enjoying the competition. Finally, we have just completed the first half of the Second Quarter, so the seminarians will be receiving "mid-quarter" grade reports this week.

Well, that is about all the news from the seminary for this week. We continue to pracice our Advent sacrifices and look forward to the celebration of Our Lord's birth in just a few weeks. May our coming Savior bless each of us as we prepare to celebrate his Nativity. God bless you, and please continue to pray for us.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




November 27, 2016
1st Sunday of Advent

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Advent is an important season for us at the seminary, as it should be for all Catholics. Especially in this age, in which the purpose of this holy season has been almost completely lost, we ought to be earnest in spending the time of Advent in prayer and penitential practices, as much as possible. For we know that Christmas will not be a truly joyful and blessed feast for us, unless we spend the time of Advent in quiet, prayerful preparation.

At the seminary we have several Advent practices. One of them is the "sacrifice bowl". This is a bowl filled with small scraps of paper, on which are written simple sacrifices that the seminarians have suggested. Each morning before breakfast the seminarians choose a sacrifice at random from the bowl, which they will perform that day. Even though they have all chosen personal sacrifices to perform, this random sacrifice is particularly effective, since it was not of their own choice.

Of course, there are other practices, Advent hymns and various observances, which combine to make Advent a beautiful liturgical season which is a source of many blessings. May God grant each of us a most blessed season, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our divine Savior.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




November 20, 2016
27th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

This morning our seminary sponsored a breakfast after both morning Masses here at our parish. This is something we do twice a year, and the income generated helps to run our seminary. But it also means a lot of work for the seminarians, beginning with the setup and meal preparation yesterday, and concluding with the dishwashing and cleanup today. We are especially grateful to the seminary cooks for helping with this semi-annual fundraiser.

This week, of course, will be a short week, as most of the seminarians leave Wednesday afternoon for the brief but much-appreciated Thanksgiving vacation. Before leaving, however, we will have a talent show on Wednesday afternoon, which will provide a nice change of pace for the seminarians.

When the seminarians return next Sunday, we will have entered the season of Advent, a very important time here at the seminary. We annually observe various Advent practices, and in addition, each seminarian chooses a few penances to perform, as we all prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior at Christmas. May this Advent be for each of us a time to achieve a closer union with Jesus, who was born into this world for our salvation. May God bless you abundantly.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




November 13, 2016
26th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Yesterday was a day of outdoor chores, as we try to finish all the raking on the grounds. And it is a good thing that we had nice weather, as the rain has returned. It is also getting colder, reminding us that winter is not far off. Right now the seminarians are down in the gym playing basketball. They have started basketball practice with our coach, Mr. Peter Linder (a former graduate of our seminary), and hope to have at least a few games this season.

Once again there will not be any extraordinary events this week at the seminary. On Saturday the seminarians will help the cooks prepare breakfast for the parishioners on Sunday. This will be the first of two Sunday breakfasts which we have for the support of our seminary. It is a lot of work but helps to teach the seminarians that they must be grateful for the support we receive and that they must do their part for the seminary.

May God bless you and your loved ones. Let us also, throughout this month, remember the faithful departed, who stand in need of our prayers and suffrages.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




November 6, 2016
25th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

The weather lately has been beautiful--warmer than normal with plenty of sunshine. That is indeed welcome, after so much rain. It also provides the opportunity to finish up outdoor chores before the snow comes. Yesterday (and this coming week), the seminarians have been raking pine needles and leaves to burn and, in general, cleaning up the grounds.

Tomorrow we will have an evening Holy Hour for God's guidance upon our country at this time with the Tuesday election. Indeed, we must always remember the importance of prayer for our country. We especially pray for the conversion of our country and its citizens, and that, one day, the laws of this nation will reflect Catholic moral teaching and that the social reign of Christ the King will be acknowledged in our land.

Otherwise, this week will be a normal week at the seminary, without any other special events. And that is a good thing--a normal routine of classes and prayer. Hopefully, all our seminarians will continue to grow daily in virtue and especially in the love of God, as they also progress academically. We thank you for your prayers and support.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




October 30, 2016
Christ the King (24th Sunday after Pentecost)

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

The feast of Christ the King has always been one of my favorite days of the entire year. Perhaps it is because I made my First Holy Communion on this Sunday, so many years ago. But also, there is the significance and importance of the feast itself. The seminarians and I honored Our Lord today with a High Mass with incense, followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament with the renewal of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The seminarians performed their parts flawlessly (well, almost) in the liturgy. I am sure Our Lord was pleased.

On this feast we also have the annual renewal of our seminary enthronement. The enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the home, which was promoted in the 20th century by Father Matteo, is something that we believe is very important for our times. We priests of CMRI promote this consecration among our parishioners, and we also enthrone the Sacred Heart in our seminaries and religious houses. May Jesus truly reign in our homes and in our hearts!

This past Friday night found us visiting the home of a couple in our parish. Vern and Sally Slater have invited our seminarians to their home twice each year for the past 17 years! It is a wonderful opportunity for the seminarians to relax and enjoy a break away from the seminary. They spend the evening in playing games, enjoying a delicious meal and perhaps watching a movie. After spending the night sprawled out in sleeping bags, there is Mass at the small Coeur d'Alene chapel, followed by breakfast. Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Slater for a most enjoyable respite, perfectly timed to coincide with the end of the First Quarter this year.

When it comes to indoor games, the seminarians have lately been avid chess players. There is hardly a recreation period when the chess board is not in use. Usually, several are gather around to observe the 2 players who are eagerly focused on their game. So it looks as though we will revive this year the practice of having a chess tournament (later in the year). We have not done so for the past few years, due to lack of interest.

Well, in a couple days we will commence the month of November, a wonderful time to help the Holy Souls. Needless to say, we can and should pray for the Poor Souls every day of the year. But November is the time when special indulgences are available. Here at Saint Joseph Seminary we daily recite prayers for the Poor Souls after Mass. We have several Requiem High Masses this month, including All Souls day, of course. We make visits to the cemetery and also make many visits to the Blessed Sacrament during the hours from Noon on November 1st to midnight on November 2nd. All in all, we try to help the souls in purgatory in every way we can. Let us all resolve to do just that, for some day, we may be in their position, in need of the suffrages of others. May God bless you, and may Christ the King help us to be always His loyal subjects.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




October 23, 2016
Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

The weather is beautiful here at the seminary today, after a lot of rain this past week. So right now the seminarians are at the park playing football. They can use the break, because this week will be a busy one--it is the final week of the quarter. That means tests in every subject sometime during the week, and another book report due. Regarding book reports, the seminarians are required to read one book per month. These are assigned spiritual books, particularly chosen for their value to young men in a Catholic seminary. Every night there is a 15-minute spiritual reading period on the schedule, but even then, the seminarians often find they need to spend extra time in reading to finish a book per month.

The spiritual reading period is followed by Night Prayers, and on Sunday there is the chanting of Compline from the Divine Office. At the beginning of Compline there is a reading sung by the assigned lector for the week. The seminarians take turns as lector, each taking a week and then starting through the lineup again once all have had their turn. The weekly lector reads at breakfast and supper and leads the common prayers, when these are not lead by a priest. It is a good opportunity for them to exercise some leadership and learn to lead prayers in a clear steady voice. Sometimes they also lead prayers publicly in the church.

There also will be some after-school chores this week, particularly in harvesting the remaining apples. There still remain several trees that we haven't yet had time to harvest, and it is time to get that done before the colder weather sets in. So as you can see, the seminarians are never bored from lack of things to do. Prayer, study, work and recreations, in just the right amounts, are the recipe for keeping the seminarians busy and happy. Of course, there also is needed a good will and spirit of cooperation--something that is abundantly present with these young men. Please keep them in your prayers. May God bless you and your loved ones.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




October 9, 2016
Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

This promises to be one busy week! On Tuesday we will honor Our Blessed Mother with a Rosary procession and High Mass. Later in the day, the seminarians will chant Vespers of Our Lady for her feastday. We were scheduled to have an outdoor Rosary procession last Friday, but inclement weather required a postponement of the procession, which will now take place on Tuesday.

On Wednesday the annual Fatima Conference will begin at Mount Saint Michael and will continue throughout the remainder of the week. The seminarians will attend nearly all the events of the Conference, especially the lectures. They will also serve for the bishop's Pontifical High Mass on Friday. Next Sunday, they will visit with the Conference guests during an Open House here at our seminary.

For the past couple weeks the weather here has been quite rainy, but that hasn't dampened the spirits of the young men. We continue to take the short ride to a local park with a nice field for football once or twice a week. The seminarians had a flag football game this past week. Although they lost the game, they nevertheless are having a great time and are improving. Both with sports and with outdoor chores during the week, we are trying to make the most of the nice fall weather before it turns decidedly colder.

Of course, we also continue our daily October Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament exposed, as demanded by Pope Leo XIII. May our prayers draw God's mercy down on this troubled world and bring souls back to the practice of the Faith! God bless you all.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




October 2, 2016
Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

This morning we had a High Mass with incense. This is a form of High Mass in which there are four servers, instead of the usual two, and the altar is incensed twice. Four of our seminarians served the Mass, while the remaining seminarian sang in the choir. In the coming weeks we will have a serving practice so that all of them can learn how to serve each position: MC, Thurifer and Acolytes.

Then, after breakfast they had a sodality meeting. Our seminary sodality meets twice a month, every other Sunday. Their meetings include reports on the Faith and on Our Lady, as well as some form of apostolic action. There will also be a sodality reception ceremony this Friday, so that new seminarians can join the sodality if they wish to do so.

Speaking of Friday, which is the feast of the Holy Rosary, we will have an outdoor Rosary procession with the school children, weather permitting, as the seminarians carry the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Since the air is turning cooler, this will likely be our final procession of the year. It is a simple procession, but a beautiful way to honor Our Lady on the feast of her Rosary. We also during October pray the daily Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament exposed.

Speaking of the cooler weather of autumn, we have lately been engaged in the typical fall chores. Yesterday, the seminarians spent several hours raking leaves and pine needles. There is still a good amount of raking left to be done before the Fatima Conference begins on October 12. They also spent some time scraping the paint from our deck railing, which badly needs a new coat of paint--one more job to finish before it gets too cold for outdoor painting.

As I write, the seminarians are preparing to leave for the park for some flag football. The weather is perfect today for football, and they have been enjoying these excursions to a local park, as we do not have an adequate field here on our property. They will be joined by some boys and young men from the parish, so it promises to be a pleasant afternoon.

How quickly the time passes. We are already into October and haven't gotten our monthly newsletter into the mail. (In fact, it has not yet been printed.) We hope to get the October issue into the mail by the end of the week. And so our life here at the seminary goes on. There is always something to do. Keeping busy is important for all of us, but especially for our youth. Please continue to pray for these young mean, as we pray for you. May God bless you and your families.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




September 18, 2016
Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Last night the seminarians enjoyed helping to staff the annual auction-dinner for the support of our school. This year's event was our best-ever in attendance. It is not only a good way to raise funds to support our parish school, but it also brings together so many people, both within the parish as well as outsiders, in pursuit of a common goal. Thanks to all who participated.

The weather has been typical fall weather, which means the afternoons are sunny and warm--perfect for playing sports at the park. The seminarians are particularly interested in playing flag football. In fact, they are on their way to the park right now for a Sunday game. They usually go to the park for recreation every Friday, while their P. E. class on the other days is here on the property. So Sunday afternoons provide an extra opportunity for wholesome recreation.

Otherwise, all is well here at the seminary, with our regular routine in full swing. Tonight we will chant Sunday Compline for the first time this school year, while everything else that is part of our normal schedule has already been put into practice. We thank you for your interest in and support of our seminary. May God bless you.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




September 11, 2016
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

After their outing to Lake Coeur d'Alene, followed by a brief camping trip north of here, the seminarians have been busy with schoolwork. We are now fully into the regular curriculum, after a rather easy first week of school. They have also begun choir practices twice a week but are not yet ready to sing a high Mass and Vespers. That will come with more practice. We also hope to have some flag football games, so they have just started going to the park once a week, in order to be able to play sports on a larger field.

At the end of this week we will hold the annual auction fund-raising dinner for our parish school. The seminarians will have a hand in doing various chores to prepare for and put on this annual event, which is enjoyable for them. Otherwise, our seminary schedule keeps the seminarians quite busy with academics, prayers and other tasks. Please continue to remember these young men in your prayers, and may God bless you.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




September 4, 2016
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Finally, we have settled once again into the seminary routine, and that means that you can now expect a weekly blog entry. In fact, in order to meet expectations of regularity, we will aim to have each week's entry posted by 3:00 pm Pacific Time on Sunday.

As I have mentioned, we are now settled into the routine. Last Monday was the first day of classes for the new school year. But this past week has also included our annual trip to Lake Coeur d'Alene. We left Thursday afternoon and returned Saturday afternoon, so that allowed 2 full days and nights at the nice summer home right on the lake, thanks to the charity of our parishioners who own the home. Even though it rained Thursday night and was cooler than it had been, the seminarians were not deterred from swimming, diving, canoeing, and plenty of other games. This respite at the end of the first week of classes has become a tradition at the seminary, and is a good way for the boys to get to know one another at the beginning of a new year.

This year we have 5 seminarians: a senior, a junior, two sophomores and one freshman. They come from California, Minnesota, Idaho and Washington. Of course, we are counting on your prayers to support us in the work of molding these precious souls into the likeness of Jesus Christ, the great High Priest.

Since tomorrow is a holiday and there will be no school, the boys have gone on an overnight camping trip with Father Anthony today up to Bonners Ferry, which is about 2 hours north of here and very close to the Canadian border. They will return tomorrow afternoon in time to get ready for another week of classes. As you can see, even though we have had a few days off from school, they are certainly keeping plenty busy! May God bless you and your families.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




August 14, 2016
Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Assumpta est Maria in Caelum... gaudent Angeli! (Mary is assumed into heaven, the Angels rejoice!) These words are taken from the beautiful office of the Assumption of Our Lady, which we celebrate tomorrow. All children and slaves of Mary rejoice as we celebrate her feasts, and particularly that of the Assumption, which is the most ancient of feasts celebrated in Our Lady's honor. This feast also reminds us of the importance of looking forward to our heavenly home--of being united with Our Lady and her divine Son for all eternity.

The feast of the Assumption also means that school is right around the corner! In fact, we begin classes in just 2 weeks, on the 29th of August. We ask your prayers for the success of the school year and for the young men who have enrolled in our seminary for this coming year. There is always excitement each year as we see new faces and start another year of classes. We count on your prayers that the year will be fruitful in grace.

If you have not checked out the photo gallery on this website, be sure to look at the July photos of our Boys Camp. There are over 100 photos, showing various facets of the busy week of the Camp. Now, however, the seminary is fairly quiet, although busy, as we prepare for school. Soon our seminarians will arrive and, once again, fill the seminary with laughter and activity. We will keep you updated on all the news, as another year gets under way.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




June 5, 2016
Third Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Well, at last, classes are finished for the year. Seminarians have either left for the summer or will be leaving soon. On Friday we had our final High Mass of the school year, with benediction and devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. What a wonderful way to conclude our school year with the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus! Then, on Saturday, His Excellency Bishop Pivarunas was here for confirmation and senior graduation. So the last few days have been a whirlwind of activity.

Now that summer vacation is finally here, we (Father Anthony and I) will have some travels, our annual retreat, the summer boys' camp, and our annual priests' meeting. In fact, the summer will be quite busy, but with a more relaxing tone. We hope to be able to recharge our energy and spiritual lives and to prepare for the next school year.

Since there will not be a great deal of activity here for at least the next month, this is the last blog entry that I will write for at least the next 6 weeks. We ask for your continued prayers for our seminary, and for more vocations in particular. And we pray that you will enjoy a relaxing summer. May God bless you and your loved ones.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




May 29, 2016
Second Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Yesterday, Father Anthony returned home with the seminarians from their 2-day camping trip. They spent one night in a National Forest campsite in northern Idaho and another in western Montana. You can expect to hear all about their camping experience in the July issue of The Guardian. (The June issue has already been printed and will be mailed out this week.)

This morning we had our beautiful outdoor Corpus Christi procession. Fortunately, the weather was good, although a bit on the cool side, and everything went smoothly. Our Corpus Christi procession here in unique, since our church is located in the hills, surrounded by forest. It is quite impressive to see the monstrance raised on high in the midst of natural beauty, and to reflect that He is the maker of all this creation! May we always honor Our Blessed Lord in the Holy Eucharist and receive Him worthily.

Tomorrow, we will have another outdoor procession -- the Queenship procession. Even though the feast of the Queenship is on Tuesday, we will hold the procession tomorrow, since more parishioners are able to attend. Of course, we will honor Our Lady with a High Mass and special ceremonies on Tuesday, and the Sacred Heart with a High Mass, benediction and devotions on Friday. Then, on Saturday, the bishop will visit the seminary for end-of-year festivities.

So, as you can see, this will be one busy week, as we wrap up the school year. Please continue to remember our seminary in your prayers and especially pray for more vocations. May God bless you and your families.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




May 15, 2016
Pentecost Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

The wonderful feast of Pentecost, also called the "birthday" of the Church, is a reminder of the importance of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in our souls, in Whom we "live and move and have our being." This feast also reminds us that our primary goal in life is to preserved the precious treasure of Sanctifying Grace, which we received at baptism, and without which, we cannot get to heaven. Since the seminary is a school of formation for future priests, this truth must be especially inculcated in their minds and hearts, as priests have the duty and office of sanctifying souls through the administration of the sacraments.

Speaking of our seminary, the classes are winding down, as we now have less than 3 weeks remaining of the school year. This week they have a major exam on Friday, as well as other course work to complete. We also begin to prepare for the annual Corpus Christi procession, which is only 2 weeks away. They continue their daily prayers of preparation for the Act of Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, which will be made on May 31st. So, as you can see, there is plenty to keep us busy.

Next week the seminarians will enjoy a couple days of camping, which is a tradition here at the end of the school year. This week, then, will be the last one during which we have regular classes every day. Please continue to pray for our seminarians and for many more young men to dedicated their lives to God in the holy priesthood.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




May 15, 2016
Pentecost Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

The wonderful feast of Pentecost, also called the "birthday" of the Church, is a reminder of the importance of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in our souls, in Whom we "live and move and have our being." This feast also reminds us that our primary goal in life is to preserved the precious treasure of Sanctifying Grace, which we received at baptism, and without which, we cannot get to heaven. Since the seminary is a school of formation for future priests, this truth must be especially inculcated in their minds and hearts, as priests have the duty and office of sanctifying souls through the administration of the sacraments.

Speaking of our seminary, the classes are winding down, as we now have less than 3 weeks remaining of the school year. This week they have a major exam on Friday, as well as other course work to complete. We also begin to prepare for the annual Corpus Christi procession, which is only 2 weeks away. They continue their daily prayers of preparation for the Act of Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, which will be made on May 31st. So, as you can see, there is plenty to keep us busy.

Next week the seminarians will enjoy a couple days of camping, which is a tradition here at the end of the school year. This week, then, will be the last one during which we have regular classes every day. Please continue to pray for our seminarians and for many more young men to dedicated their lives to God in the holy priesthood.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




May 8, 2016
Sunday after the Ascension

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

On this day, our thoughts are on our mothers and all the mothers who raise our Catholic youth. Very often the credit for a vocation to the priesthood goes, after God, to the mother of the young man, who formed him and likely obtained his vocation by her prayers. We must never underestimate the tremendous importance of the role of the mother in the family, for it is she who gives her children the most decisive and lasting lessons. Let us all pray for our mothers today, that God will strengthen them in their lofty vocation of motherhood.

This week there will be ordinations at our major seminary in Omaha. Both Fr. Anthony and I will attend this important event in the life of the Church. Each ordination ceremony is for us a reminder of our own ordination and an opportunity to give thanks to God for the precious gift of our priesthood. Let it also be for us a reminder to continue to pray for priests, who are so much needed today.

We also continue this week the novena of preparation for Pentecost. This novena in honor of the Holy Ghost is the oldest novena in the Church, for it was the original novena -- the reason why we have novenas in the first place. Let us call upon the Holy Ghost to enlighten us that we might persevere in our faith in these dark times. Just as He transformed the apostles, so He can strenghten us and grant us the most precious gift of perseverance in the faith. May God bless you and your families.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




May 1, 2016
Saint Joseph the Worker

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Today is a wonderful feastday on which we honor Saint Joseph, the model and patron of laborers and the patron of the Universal Church. How much we need his intercession today! This great saint toiled away humbly and hidden, in the carpentry shop at Nazareth, as he supported Jesus and Mary by the work of his hands. In the eyes of the world, his life was not significant, but oh! how great and precious was his life in the eyes of God, whose place he held in the Holy Family. Let us pray to him for our families, for it is from good Catholic families that vocations come.

On Tuesday of this week we will have a Rogation procession, chanting the litanies as we walk along the paths on our beautiful property here in the hills of northern Idaho. On Thursday, the seminarians will take a break from their studies and enjoy an outing to Farragut State Park on beautiful Lake Pend Oreille. The feast of the Ascension of Our Lord comes early this year, but the weather should be fine for a cookout.

Throughout this month we continue with our May devotions: public Rosary, daily prayer in honor of Our Lady's Queenship and crowning of her statue, and prayers in preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. It is a busy month with plenty of activity going on. On the academic front, the seminarians have been quite busy with science, which is an Internet-based course. The course ends in a couple weeks, so there is this final flurry of activity to finish all the assignments and prepare for the final exam. There is also their disc-golf tournament coming up, so, as you can see, there is no lack of activities to occupy their time. Please keep our seminary in your prayers. May Our Blessed Mother and good Saint Joseph intercede for us and send us many pious young men to pursue the vocation to the priesthood. And may God bless you and your families.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




April 24, 2016
Fourth Sunday after Easter

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

On Wednesday of this week the seminarians will serve a funeral Mass. Our parish here is not large, so there are occasional funeral Masses during the year, but not as many as would be the case in a larger parish. Also, Father Anthony has left for Colorado to offer the funeral Mass for his grandmother, who passed away several days ago. We ask you to remember these departed souls, and all the faithful departed, in your prayers.

On Thursday of this week, the feast of Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, we will begin our prayers in preparation for the Act of Total Consecration, which we recite together on the Feast of the Queenship, May 31st. Those who have already made their consecration prepare for this annual renewal, while those seminarians who have never yet made the act of Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary will have the opportunity to do so. I encourage all of you to consider making this act of consecration, which is such a source of grace. Truly, we need a great devotion to Our Blessed Mother in order to persevere and not be deceived in this age of apostasy. Mary Our Blessed Mother keep each of us, her children, in the true Faith.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




April 17, 2016
Third Sunday after Easter

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

This week looks to be a quiet one at the seminary. There is nothing particularly different this week, although we plan a work day outside for a good part of the day on Wednesday. With excellent spring weather, there is much to do before the summer is upon us. Other than that, it will be a normal week of classes.

One task for this week is the building of our May shrine. Each year the seminarians decorate a shrine to Our Lady in the classroom area, before which we pray devotions in her honor daily during May. Although Our Lady's month is 2 weeks away, we don't want to enter May without having prepared a fitting shrine for Our Blessed Mother's statue. During May, the seminarians take turns providing flowers to fittingly honor our heavenly queen.

I encourage all of you to do the same. Set up a May altar in your home. Adorn it with flowers and recite devotions daily in honor of our loving Mother Mary. You can be sure that such child-like devotion will be amply rewarded. And please also continue to pray for vocations to our seminary. We have received several inquiries, but time will tell how many young men join us in late August, when the new school year begins.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




April 10, 2016
Good Shepherd Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Today we conclude our annual Forty Hours adoration. It is truly a blessed occasion when we spend more time than usual before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. But Forty Hours also means more work in preparing the altar, performing the liturgy, making sure hours of adoration are covered (especially at night), and so forth. The seminarians have been a big help with all this! They are reliable servers who quickly pick up their parts for the liturgy -- without them, it would be much more difficult to have Forty Hours!

During Easter week our new "stained glass" windows were installed in the seminary chapel. This is a project we have been planning for some time. Since real stained glass is prohibitively expensive, we opted for translucent vinyl. The painted pictures were printed onto the vinyl, which was then attached with adhesive to the inside of the 8 large chapel windows. The theme for these windows is the Eight Beatitudes. Each window has the Latin inscription of one of the beatitudes, along with the image of a saint who exemplified that particular beatitude. I hope they are an inspiration for seminarians for many years to come.

Although the seminarians are always busy, it seems that this time of year is even more demanding. There is the academic curriculum to be concluded during this final quarter of the school year, there are increased outdoor chores (such as mowing) with the warmer weather, and, of course, there is no lack of recreational activity. During this week and next we will hold our annual seminary Pool Tournament, so the seminarians are sharpening their skills for the competition. All in all, they are busy but quite happy as they keep up each day with the activities outlined for them in the seminary routine, which they accept as God's will and seek to perform as well as possible. Please continue to pray for them and for more vocations.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




March 28, 2016
Easter Monday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Our Holy Week ceremonies this past week have been beautiful. All these liturgical ceremonies went smoothly, thanks to the help of our seminarians. It is a great joy for me to have the seminarians, as well as other servers from the parish here, who are reliable and pious in serving the liturgy. I hope that all our parishioners here realize how blessed they are to have the seminarians, who not only serve Mass but also do so much work in keeping up the grounds and buildings. They are a joy to have around.

Last night it began to snow around 9:00 pm. This morning we woke up to about 4 inches of snow, but it will not last long. This week we are expecting highs in the 60s with plenty of sunshine. Of course, this week is our spring vacation. Some seminarians have gone home with their families, while others who live too far away are staying at the seminary and will enjoy extra free time this week. Soon it will be back to our studies for the final "home stretch" before the end of the school year.

The feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord is a time of great joy. It is also an opportunity for us to reflect on the wonderful blessings we have with the true Faith, the sacraments, and all the graces God grants to us. May He bless you and your loved ones as we celebrate this week the greatest of all feasts.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




March 20, 2016
Palm Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

The weather was a bit chilly this morning for our Palm Sunday procession; nevertheless, all went smoothly. It is a great beginning to Holy Week, which will be quite busy for the seminarians.

The seminarians made a retreat this past Friday and Saturday. There were spitiual conferences, extra time in chapel, and, of course, silence. For some of them, this was the first retreat they had ever made, and they did well. Hopefully, for all of us, this retreat was a source of many blessings.

Today, after the Mass and ceremonies, the seminarians served a breakfast to the parishioners. It is something we do each year on the Sunday closest to Saint Joseph's feastday.

Finally, today, we will have chanted Vespers, in addition to the regular chanting of Compline, which is sung every Sunday. This year for Lent we have not yet sung Vespers, even though in past years it has been a fixture of our Lenten observances. The reason for not singing Vespers until now is that either I was traveling or did not have the voice for it. It will be nice to chant Vespers today, at least, on the final Sunday of Lent.

As I stated earlier, this week will be very busy, with all the practicing necessary for fulfilling our respective roles in the liturgy. But it will also be a grace-filled week as well. We wish you all a blessed Holy Week and a joyous Easter.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




March 13, 2016
Passion Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

This week the emphasis at the seminary is on concluding our Third Quarter material. The quarter actually ends on March 23rd, but with all the activity of Holy Week, we plan on completing nearly all the academic materials this week.

On Friday the seminarians will go on retreat. A retreat is a blessed time of prayer and reflection, so I ask your prayers that it will be for them a source of many graces. Coming as it does this year right before Holy Week, it will certainly help us all to enter into the Great Week with the proper sentiments, as we concentrate on the liturgy and on the Passion or Our Lord.

May we all have a blessed conclusion to Lent, as we strive during these final 2 weeks to meditate more deeply on the Passion of Jesus. And, as always, be assured of our prayers for you and your loved ones.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




March 6, 2016
Fourth Sunday of Lent

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

As I write this week's blog entry, the seminarians are off with Father Anthony playing disk golf. The nice spring weather has allowed for many outdoor activities, both work and play. This past week they spent considerable time cleaning up the grounds and burning the large slash pile. But there is plenty more work to do!

Also, this week they will finish their ping-pong tournament, as we want to be finished with that annual event before Passion Sunday. On Saturday, the seminarians will assist the sacristans to put the purple covers on the statues, both here at the seminary chapel and at our church. Today on Laetare Sunday we are reminded that Easter is only 3 weeks away. This Sunday, coming just after the half-way point of Lent, is a good time for all of us to take stock on how we are spending Lent and to renew our resolutions to be faithful to our Lenten sacrifices.

Tomorrow we will put out The Guardian mailing for March, a few days later than normal. The reason for the slight delay is that the past week or two have been so hectic, with the dedication of our new church in Salem, New Hampshire, taking place this past Wednesday (which necessitated me being gone from the seminary for almost a week). Also, for various reasons our annual Lenten retreat had to be postponed, so now it has been scheduled for the weekend of Palm Sunday. Usually, we have the retreat in early Lent, but this year's retreat will allow us to more deeply enter into the spirit of Holy Week. May we all continue to make a good Lent, and thus prepare worthily to celebrate Our Lord's resurrection on Easter Sunday.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




February 28, 2016
Third Sunday of Lent

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

This week the seminarians will have several days of testing. The batter of tests is referred to as the "Stanford 9" and helps us to evaluate how we are doing as teachers. The scores help us to monitor the seminarians' academic progress and make sure we are covering all the bases. They can be tedious, but then, it is Lent, isn't it?

The weather here continues to be above normal for this time of year. Since there is so much work to do outside, we will take one day this week and have a cleanup day. There are many branches that were blown down in a wind storm, and others that broke from the trees due to the heavy snow accumulation. These will be gathered into piles and burned.

Already we see the daffodils poking out of the ground and other signs of spring in the air. Soon we will arrive at Holy Week, concluding with the celebration of the Resurrection. Let us continue our Lenten practices as we look forward to rising with Christ at Easter. We pray for all of you, our friends and benefactors, that you will have a holy and grace-filled Lent.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




February 21, 2016
Second Sunday of Lent

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Our annual seminary retreat had originally been scheduled for this weekend, but for various reasons we have had to postpone it until March. The annual seminary retreat always takes place during Lent, which is an ideal time for a retreat. Although the retreat has been postponed, however, our Lent here at Saint Joseph Seminary is going well. Among other practices, we have Stations of the Cross in common every Friday, and the seminarians are encouraged to frequently make the Stations privately in our seminary chapel.

The weather here has gradually been turning spring-like. Nearly all the snow is gone, except for a few piles left from last month's snow-plowing. So the seminarians are spending more time outside and are starting to work on the various spring chores, such as cleanup of the grounds. Soon we will turn our attention to preparing the liturgy for Holy Week, but for now, the emphasis on their studies continues.

We all know that time passes swiftly, and before we know it, Easter will be here. So for now, let us spend Lent in a holy manner, sanctifying our daily duty as we do everything for the love of Our Lord, who shed His blood on Calvary for love of us.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




February 14, 2016
First Sunday of Lent

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Here at the seminary we have made a good beginning to Lent. The ceremonies of Ash Wednesday are beautiful in their stark simplicity. The seminarians served for the blessing of ashes and High Mass, receiving on their foreheads the symbol of penance. For in the Old Testament, the placing of ashes on one's head was a sign of sorrow for sin and a willingness to do penance.

Each of the seminarians dutifully made out his own penance program and submitted it for approval. For the seminarians, their studies and faithfully keeping the seminary rule must take first place among penances. But in addition to the fulfillment of our own individual daily duties, we must each perform sacrifices during the season of Lent. May we all persevere during this season in faithful fulfillment of our penitential practices, in union with Our Lord in His passion.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




February 7, 2016
Quinquagesima Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Already the season of Lent is at hand. Although lax Catholics dread this season, for us it should be a welcome opportunity of uniting ourselves with Jesus in His Passion, as we perform sacrifices for love of Him. Here at the seminary we have various Lenten practices, including the Stations of the Cross. The Stations are a beautiful Catholic custom that is richly indulgenced by the Church. It is just one of many devotions that focus our attention on all that Jesus suffered for love of us.

This year we have one of the earliest beginnings to Lent, as Ash Wednesday falls on the 10th of February. That means that Good Friday this year will be on March 25th. That is particularly interesting, since it is a pious tradition that Our Lord actually died on that very day. Although the Church does not teach this as a certain fact, it is interesting that in the Roman Martyrology, the feast of the "Good Thief" is given on March 25th, and the martyrology customarily lists the saints on the day of their death. (Needless to say, the Good Thief died on Good Friday.).

So let us spend some time planning our Lenten practices (sacrifices, devotions, spiritual reading and other customs) so that when Lent begins on Wednesday, we are ready to commence with pious enthusiasm and the resolve to make a truly holy Lent. There is nothing wrong with some extra recreational activity on Tuesday, the day before Lent, especially if it is some wholesome activity that we plan to give up for Lent. (This in no way should be taken as condoning the wicked excesses so often prevalent on Mardi Gras.) Here at the seminary we will have a nice meal and recreation Tuesday evening, as it will be a "No Homework Day." You can imagine how much the seminarians like those words! But then, come Wednesday morning, it will be down to the business of making a good Lent, one that is worthy of Christians who truly love Our Lord.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




January 31, 2016
Sexagesima Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Each week brings its own feasts and liturgical ceremonies. Here at the seminary, we conscientiously prepare for the various liturgical functions and honor the saints whose feasts we celebrate. During this week, there will be several noteworthy events: on Tuesday there will be the blessing of candles and high Mass. On Wednesday we will have the blessing of throats, and on Friday and Saturday there will be benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

In particular, the ceremonies of Candlemas on Tuesday will require the most practice and preparation, since it is a function that occurs only once a year. All the seminarians participate as we bless the candles to be used for the coming year. The blessing takes place before Mass and we then process outside the church. The cold weather necessitates a short procession, but it is memorable nonetheless, reminding us of the journey of Mary and Joseph with the Infant Jesus to the temple, forty days after His birth. This ceremony is followed the very next day with the blessing of throats in honor of Saint Blaise.

Our custom at the seminary is to have benediction of the Blessed Sacrament every First Friday and First Saturday, as well as on one Sunday of the month. All of the seminarians learn to perform each function of the ceremony, so that we can regularly interchange the various roles of the servers. In short order they have the rubrics memorized, such that we normally do not need to practice for this ceremony.

And so you see that the liturgy is of paramount importance in the seminary--so much so that we could say that our lives revolve around the liturgy of Holy Mother Church. May you also appreciate the liturgy of the Church and try to imbibe its spirit. For to live in the spirit of the liturgy is to live with Christ.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




January 24, 2016
Septuagesima Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

A lot of rain lately in northern Idaho. That did not stop the seminarians, however, from making their first trip to Silver Mountain for skiing on Friday. This was the first experience for several of them in that sport, and they adapted quite well, after the first few falls. Up on the mountain the conditions were not ideal, with gusts of wind and a rain/snow mix, but they did not seem to notice, as they made many trips down the slopes. Weather permitting, we will go skiing at least once more this season.

Yesterday the seminarians worked on ice-removal. The warmer weather has melted a lot of the snow, but on the north side of the seminary--the area used for parking--the slush has hardened into ice. This makes it treacherous for those coming for daily Mass. By using solid metal shovels and lots of elbow grease, the ice has now been removed.

During this week the priests will gather at Mount Saint Michael for our semi-annual gathering. There are 22 priests in the United States and Canada, working together under the direction of Bishop Mark Pivarunas, CMRI. As part of the gathering, the priests will visit Saint Joseph Seminary for dinner on Wednesday, and the seminarians are looking forward to meeting them and learning about their work. I have asked the seminarians to do their best to meet all the priests and try to learn all their names! Regardless of whether they learn all the names, they are sure to enjoy the company of the priests as they continue to pursue their own path to the priesthood.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




January 18, 2016
Saint Peter's Chair at Rome

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

This week we begin the second semester. The seminarians will follow the same academic schedule as for last semester, with the normal routine of classes. Right now, the teachers are averaging grades and getting the grade cards finished. The seminarians should receive these by Wednesday.

On Friday of this week the seminarians will have a ski day. It will be the first time on skis for several of them; nevertheless, the novice skiers have declined lessons and will just learn by trial and error. We will see how well they do for their first experience in skiing!

Well, time for classes. Please remember us in your prayers. God bless you.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




January 10, 2016
Holy Family Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

The past week was filled with the various Epiphany ceremonies and celebration. The blessing of the Epiphany Water was the first event after the seminarians' return on Monday. It only takes place on January 5 and includes a great deal of chanting. It is a beautiful ceremony, reminding us of the power of Holy Water. There followed the various other events for the feast of the Epiphany.

By now, the seminarians have fully returned to the routine of the seminary--and just in time. For this will be a busy week of studies for the seminarians, as the Second Quarter concludes on Friday. There will be exams and assignments to keep them plenty busy! In addition, they will have their first basketball game on Saturday, so they will be practicing for that. There is never a dull moment at the seminary.

Please keep us in your prayers. We pray that God will bless you and your loved ones.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




January 03, 2016
Most Holy Name of Jesus

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Now that we (both staff and students) have been refreshed by an enjoyable 2 weeks of vacation, we will resume our classes this week on Tuesday. This week also presents some wonderful customs that we observe annually at the seminary. First, on Tuesday we will have the solemn blessing of Epiphany Water. This blessing of water, which lasts for about 45 minutes, includes a great deal of chanting. It is most edifying to see how our Holy Mother the Church emphasizes the value of the sacramental of blessed water, especially when it is done with solemn ceremonies on the Vigil of the Epiphany or at the Easter Vigil.

Then, on Wednesday, there will be a High Mass for the important feast of the Epiphany. This Mass will be preceded by the blessing of gold, incense and myrrh, in memory of the gifts offered the Christ Child by the Magi. There is also a blessing of chalk, which is then used to mark our doorways with the initials of the three holy Magi and the current year. During the High Mass there will also be the solemn announcement of moveable feasts, which is an inspiring ceremony in which the Church makes known the dates when the various moveable feasts will occur this year.

On Thursday we will have our Epiphany dinner with all staff members joining the seminarians at the feast. Afterwards, we will open our gifts. In addition to other gifts, each seminarian provides a gift for another seminarian, whose name he chose by lot before Christmas. It is a wonderful custom, reminding us of the charity that should bind us all as one family.

When they return, the seminarians will be surprised at all the snow we have. It is truly a winter wonderland here at the seminary. But the beauty of the snow can have a downside--tomorrow we have a work party scheduled to shovel the snow off the roofs of the church and gradeschool. (The seminary does not present a problem, as the snow sooner or later slides off.) And speaking of snow, be sure to keep checking the web site for the latest photos. We will soon be posting pictures of our beautiful snow-covered grounds and trees. In the brilliant sunshine of the last few days, the rays of light cause the fresh snow to spakle like a thousand diamonds. It is a wonder to behold, and reminds us of God's beauty.

Let us continue to celebrate the wonderful feastdays of this time of year, when we call to mind the coming of the Infant Jesus into the world, and the various events which took place at His birth. May God bless you and your loved ones in this New Year of 2016.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




December 20, 2015
Fourth Sunday of Advent

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

This morning the seminarians gave a presentation to our parish here, as part of the annual Christmas program. They sang 3 carols. I was particularly pleased that they had memorized all the words and so did not need to hold sheet music. They had fun doing the carol presentation and, hopefully, inspired our parishioners with the spirit of Christmas.

This will be a short week, with classes on Monday and Tuesday only. It is a matter of wrapping up their studies and taking a few quizzes, before they leave to spend Christmas with their families. Classes will resume on January 5.

The seminarians will also help to decorate the seminary and our church this week. Yesterday they selected and cut the Christmas tree for the seminary living room. It is nice to be able to cut your own tree within a hundred feet of your home. We are blessed with quite a few heavily-wooded acres here, and so we never have to buy a tree.

Be assured that you will all be remembered by Father Anthony and me in our Christmas Masses. We pray that God will bless you abundantly at this holy season.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




December 08, 2015
Immaculate Conception BVM

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

During the past week we began our Advent practices at the seminary, which include daily Advent devotions, the "sacrifice bowl" and the seminarians' own chosen practices. Each day before Mass we light the candles on the Advent wreath, recite Advent prayers, and sing a couple verses of the well-known hymn O Come, O Come Emmanuel. The sacrifice bowl is a practice we have traditionally observed at the seminary each year. Here is how it works: Over the years seminarians have suggested sacrifices that can be done each day. These are written down on small slips of paper, folded, and placed in the bowl. Each morning before breakfast the seminarians choose one, read it, and then re-fold the paper and put it back. That is their sacrifice for the day (in addition to their own chosen sacrifices.) What is especially mortifying is that these sacrifices are not self-chosen, but rather assigned at random. They are simple things, but nevertheless penitential.

Also, we have just celebrated the feast of Saint Nicholas, which brings us to another custom at the seminary. On Sunday morning, each seminary awoke to find a small bag of goodies at the entrance of his room. Saint Nicholas has visited the seminary each year for his feast, so I guess we can say the seminarians have been well-behaved! The treats are usually along the lines of oranges and other non-sugary treats. Saint Nicholas doesn't want the seminarians to overload on sugar, especially during Advent.

Today we celebrated the feast of the Immaculate Conception with an outing. It has been rainy lately, but at least the seminarians were able to get out for a hike before the weather really turns cold. Speaking of which, there has not yet been a real snowfall. We have all been wondering when the ski resorts will be up and running, but it looks like it will be later than usual this year.

We wish you all a most blessed Advent, and may God bless you and your loved ones.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




November 29, 2015
First Sunday of Advent

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

This week we return to the regular routine of classes here at the seminary, after our brief but enjoyable Thanksgiving break. We also begin today the season of Advent--a very important time to prepare for Our Lord's birth. We have several traditional Advent customs and practices here at the seminary, and I am sure that you also have observances in your home for this time of year. All of these help us to spend this season well, as we prepare our souls for the feast of Christmas.

This week we will also mail the final issue of The Guardian for this year of 2015. How quickly the time passes! The seminarians frequently comment on the seeming rapid passage of time. That is always the case when one is busy--time seems to go by rapidly. It is good to be always occupied doing God's work, for perhaps sooner that we realize, our time on this earth will be at an end. When that time comes, may Jesus find us in His grace and busy doing His will.

We wish you all a most blessed Advent, and may God bless you and your loved ones.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




November 24, 2015
Saint John of the Cross

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

This week we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, which is an important reminder of our duty to thank God daily for His many benefits. For us at the seminary, this year's Thanksgiving will have added meaning. Just last week, a brutal wind storm knocked out our power for 4 days. We do have a small generator, so at least we had light, but we were without heat. This has been an important reminder to us that we must not take the blessings God gives us for granted. Many people do not have the material blessings that we enjoy, let alone the spiritual goods, which are far more important. May we always be grateful for God's goodness to us.

Just this morning we received our first snowfall of the year. In addition, the temperatures have been plunging well below the freezing mark, indicating that winter has definitely arrived. So we have taken the snow shovels out of storage and are gearing up for another season of shoveling and trying to keep our seminary and church entrances clear and dry. You can be sure that the seminarians get plenty of exercise shoveling snow.

We also are preparing for Advent, a very important liturgical season. Each seminarian has been writing a list of sacrifices and spiritual practices to follow during this season. Let us all resolved to spend it properly, in quiet, prayerful preparation for the celebration of Our Blessed Lord's humble birth.

May God bless you and your loved ones.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




November 15, 2015
25th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

The big event this week will be the return of Father Anthony to our seminary. Father assists in teaching and has been away for 2 months, working on the new church in Maine. He will be driving back to Idaho this week, so we would appreciate your remembering his safe travels in your prayers.

This fact gives me the opportunity to explain something about our faculty here. I have Father Anthony as my assistant, along with several lay persons who are dedicated teachers and help in whatever way is needed. Since there are so few truly Catholic priests in the world today, we necessarily must travel to cover Mass circuits wherever needed. Over the past 10 years, I have been occasionally traveling on weekends to cover our Mass centers in New England, but Father Anthony's residence there for the past 2 months has allowed me the luxury of staying home. Now that he is returning, I will go back to covering the weekend Mass schedule in New England once or twice a month, beginning with next weekend.

As for the seminary, all is well here on the home front. The seminarians sponsored a breakfast fund-raiser in our parish this morning. This is something we do twice a year, in November and March, which raises some money for the seminarians' activities. Thanks to the help of our seminary cooks, it was a great success.

The seminarians have enjoyed their football games, including one this past week. But now the weather has turned colder and they are starting to prepare for basketball. As of now there is no schedule of games, but we plan to start having some games in December. These wholesome activities keep the boys busy and provide an enjoyable outlet to the intensity of their studies! Please remember them in your prayers, as they continue their path to the priesthood.

May God bless you and your loved ones.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




November 08, 2015
24th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

This week will be a normal week at the seminary, without special activities, and that is a good thing. The normal routine helps the seminarians to develop self-discipline in their study habits and in their prayer life. Sometimes, when there are a number of extra-curricular activities, the schedule is interrupted and we are thrown off our normal routine. Some variety is good, but a normal schedule is especially helpful.

Right now as I write it is raining. There has been quite a bit of rain lately, and it is appreciated, since it has been so dry the past 3 months. Fortunately, yesterday was a nice day, sunny and warmer than usual for this time of year. That made it possible for the seminarians to work outside and finishing some autumn chores before the snow flies. They raked the pine needles and burned some of the slash piles. I was glad that the weather allowed this work to get done, as there may not be many more days left like that.

During this coming week we will have the sodality reception ceremony. A sodality is an organization for the purpose of promoting devotion to Our Blessed Mother. Our sodality here at the seminary is optional -- the seminarians have to apply to become members. Sodality members wear the miraculous medal and have several additional practices. But especially, they strive to grow in their love and devotion to Our Blessed Mother -- something that is particularly necessary for a future priest. Please continue to pray for their spiritual growth and for more vocations. May God bless you and your loved ones.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




November 01, 2015
All Saints

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Today we celebrate another wonderful feastday -- this time in honor of all the saints in heaven. The weather, however, has finally begun to turn cold, wet and windy. Nevertheless, as I write, the seminarians are out playing football for their Sunday afternoon recreation.

Tomorrow, of course, is All Souls Day. But even today, as of Noon, we are able to gain the indulgence for the Poor Souls known as the Toties Quoties indulgence. Already the seminarians have taken advantage of the generosity of Holy Mother Church, who opens her treasures for the souls in Pugatory. They will be making many more visits to the Blessed Sacrament, reciting 6 times the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for the Poor Souls. We hope to release many souls from their pains, that they might sooner fly to heaven to be with God for all eternity.

We have many other practices here during November for the Poor Souls, including visits to the cemetery, daily prayers and Requiem High Masses. All in all, we will do what we can to help these suffering souls, knowing that one day we may be in their position, dependent on the prayers of others.

Now the Second Quarter of the school year has begun. The seminarians will receive their First Quarter report cards this week (on Tuesday) and will be able to see how well they have done academically. Actually, they are already well aware of their progress, as they receive periodic reports throughout the quarter. But the beginning of a new quarter is an opportunity for them to start afresh and renew their dedication to cooperate with the grace of God and to make progress, both academically and spiritually, while they are here. Please continue to pray for them and for many more vocations!

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




October 25, 2015
Christ the King

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

What a wonderful feastday is that of Christ the King! We recall the motto of the Mexican martyrs of the 20th century, as they were executed for their fidelity to the true faith: Viva Christo Rey, Long live Christ the King! May that too be our motto. And may we always be loyal subjects of this good King. Today the seminarians joined in singing the High Mass and then served benediction after Mass, as we renewed our consecration to the Sacred Heart of Christ our King.

This week will be another busy one, as we conclude our First Quarter of school. On Thursday we will celebrate the end of the First Quarter by a nice dinner with all staff members and seminarians -- a custom we observe on special occasions. Then on Friday we are invited to dinner at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Vern Slater, parishioners of Mary Immaculate Queen Parish. They have traditionally invited the seminarians over twice a year, and always serve a delicious meal. It is an opportunity for the seminarians to relax and enjoy some games in the pleasant atmosphere of their lovely home.

Then we turn our attention to the Holy Souls in November. The seminarians are encouraged to make as many visits as possible for the Toties Quoties indulgence, which begins next Sunday, the feast of All Saints. We will also spend more time than usual in visiting the cemetery and praying for the Poor Souls. May we all take to heart our duty, as members of the Church Militant, of praying and sacrificing for the Poor Souls in Purgatory during November, and indeed throughout the year.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




October 18, 2015
21th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

The past week has been busy, as usual. Not only have the seminarians been busy with school, they have also enjoyed football and have been finishing up fall chores, especially with our apple harvest. The weather has been unusually warm, as we have been enjoying an extended Indian Summer.

This week promises to be just as busy, as it will be the last full week of the First Quarter. Teachers will be fnishing the quarter's material and preparing for the final tests the following week.

We also look forward to the great feast of Christ the King next Sunday, when we will renew our seminary enthronement. Let us recall how good a King we serve! May we always be loving and loyal subjects.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




October 11, 2015
20th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

The past few days have been quite busy, with the events of the annual Fatima Conference at Mount Saint Michael. Although we have not attended all the events, nevertheless the seminarians have attended quite a few events and had the chance to meet with many of the guests, some of whom have traveled from a great distance. This evening they will attend the concluding ceremonies, which include the beautiful candlelight Rosary procession. The feast of Our Lady's maternity is certainly a perfect opportunity to honor Our Blessed Mother in this way.

Of all the events of the past week, the highlight was unquestionably the pontifical High Mass on Friday at the Mount. All the serminarians had a part in serving the Mass, and did quite a good job at their various positions, despite the fact that we were only able to have one practice. For most of them, this was the first time they had ever served a pontifical High Mass. It was certainly a great privilege for them and should serve to give them a greater love for the liturgy of Holy Mother Church.

Tomorrow the seminarians will have another football game. They are really enjoying the sport and looking forward to their second game. Although they lost the first game a couple weeks ago, they are improving and hope to do much better this time. The most important thing is that they learn to play in a Christ-like fashion, with good sportsmanship. Win or lose, they are having a great time with flag football.

On Tuesday afternoon I will be leaving for Maine. We have a new church there, which will be blessed on Thursday. One of the seminarians will accompany me on this trip, in order to help in serving the ceremonies of the dedication. Father Anthony has been there the past month with a few helpers, remodeling the sanctuary and preparing for the dedication. We look forward to his return to the seminary! May God bless you. Please keep up the prayers for our seminary.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




October 04, 2015
19th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Once again we have a busy week before us. On Wednesday, we will have a Rosary procession on our grounds, with the school children and parishioners. The seminarians will have the privilege of carrrying the bier with Our Lady's statue. On Thursday we will all attend the banquet at the Fatima Conference. It will be an opporunity for the seminarians to meet and converse with the priests who will gather this week at Mount Saint Michael. Then, on Friday, they will attend the entire day's events, beginning with the Pontifical High Mass in the morning.

Saturday will be a work day, as usual! Our plan is to finish picking the last of the apples. We will bring the cider press out of storage and turn the apples into delicious home-made apple cider. Already there are plenty of jars of apple sauce in our food storage.

Of course, we continue the beautiful custom of our daily Rosary during October, recited before the Blessed Sacrament exposed. The seminarians take turns serving. Just this morning they served the High Mass with incense and performed their roles quite well. We had practiced yesterday, as this was the first such ceremony this school year. As the year progresses, they will all have a turn in serving the different roles of the High Mass with incense.

Time goes by quickly at the seminary, as the boys are always busy. May they grow in virtue along with their progress in study. Thank you for your prayers for this end.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




September 27, 2015
18th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

This week we begin the month of October, during which the Rosary is publicly recited at the seminary daily before the Blessed Sacrament exposed. This provides the seminarians with plenty of opportunities to serve Benediction. Serving Mass and other liturgical functions is an important part of the training of these young men, and there are ample opportunities for them to do so. Next Sunday we will have a High Mass with incense, which requires a Master of Ceremonies and special rubrics. We have the boys learn each part so that they can serve in any capacity. They also are helping to train the younger boys in our parish school, which is good experience for them, which will help them one day as priests. In general, we want our seminarians to be filled with a love for the liturgy and a knowledge of how to perform correctly the various functions.

October is also the time when we harvest our plentiful apple trees. The boys started this work yesterday, harvesting the first of our trees. The Sisters will make apple sauce, and the boys will work the cider press. All in all, there will be plenty of apple products to last the remainder of the school year.

This month is also the time when the seminarians enjoy the sport of flag football. This week they will have the first game against the team at Mount Saint Michael, and the seminarians are quite excited about playing. Although sports is not a main focus at the seminary, it does provide a healthful outlet for these young men as their bodies grow and develop.

Even more important than sports is choir. We are pleased that a local young man, who is a trained choir teacher, has volunteered to help train the boys to sing well. Our seminarians are blessed with good, strong voices, but they need to learn how to sing together. This week they will have a High Mass for the feast of Saint Michael, and there will be many more High Masses to follow. That is in addition to their chanting of Vespers and Compline, and the regular singing of hymns before classes, after the daily Rosary and at Mass. Using their voices to praise God is an important part of seminary training.

And so our busy life at the seminary continues. All in all, the goal behind all our activities is the formation of future priests. Let us pray daily for many, holy priests.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




September 20, 2015
17th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Yesterday evening here at Mary Immaculate Queen Parish we held our annual school auction-dinner fundraiser. This delicious western-style steak dinner has become an annual event that our parishioners and others eagerly anticipate. The seminarians lent a hand with clearing tables and other odd jobs, but they also enjoyed the dinner and the entertainment by master bull-whip maker Joseph Strain.

But other than that, what is a Saturday like here at the seminary? Typically, the seminarians clean their rooms and then fulfill assigned chores. In the afternoon they enjoy several hours of free time before Rosary and dinner. In general, the day is more relaxed, but there is still a schedule which provides the framework for each day.

Usually, I go out on sick calls on Saturday morning and then spend the afternoon in my office -- preparing the Sunday sermon, grading papers, answering correspondence, etc. Well, yesterday in the early afternoon I decided to check up on what the seminarians were doing. One was in the chapel making the Stations of the Cross, a couple were completing chores, and another was cleaning his room while singing the Mass of the Angels. (I could hear the singing from my office!) In short, they were all occupied with wholesome activities. In fact, we all need to keep busy, whether that "being busy" means working, praying or enjoying various recreational activities. Likewise, here at the seminary, we want our students to be always doing something with their time, avoiding idleness.

I mentioned the seminarian who was singing while cleaning his room. They all enjoy choir, and it is uplifiting to hear them around the house, humming or quietly singing the tunes we have been working on during choir practice. They will sing these beautiful church melodies while doing the dishes, walking about the house, or just about anywhere else. I am always happy to hear it (except after Night Prayers, when silence must prevail).

May we all maintain a "merry heart" singing in our hearts to God (Colossians, 3:16), as we go about the work of fulfilling our daily duties.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




September 13, 2015
16th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Last Tuesday, the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, Father Anthony left with a few helpers for Maine. He will be building an altar for our new church in Oakland, Maine, which will be blessed on October 15. Father and his helpers have arrived safely and will begin tomorrow on the task of preparing this church for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. While Father Anthony is gone, the rest of us will pick up his classes, as we look forward to his return.

The seminarians have enjoyed playing flag football and are preparing for some competition with the team from St. Michael's Academy (at Mount Saint Michael in Spokane). Our first game is scheduled for October 1st, so they should be ready by then to compete. Fortunately, we have the help of two laymen of our parish who have volunteered to coach the boys. With all that is involved in running a minor seminary, it would be impossible without the dedicated help of all our staff: teachers, cooks, secretary, coaches, etc. We are very blessed to have the staff members we have, and pray that God will bless them abundantly for their dedication.

The seminarians have also been working on chanting Vespers, which we do on feasts of Our Lady. In that department, things are coming along well. It was a bit rough the first time they chanted Vespers, on the feast of Our Lady's Nativity. On Saturday, however, they did very well in chanting Vespers in honor of the Most Holy Name of Mary. We also chant Compline every Sunday night. Next, we will prepare for singing High Masses, which they will begin shortly. Because learning to sing well is an important part of the formation of seminarians, we are grateful for the help of a young man in the area who is trained as a choir conductor and has volunteered to help the seminarians with their singing. As you can see, there is never a dull moment at the seminary. The boys keep busy and are always active. As always, we appreciate your continued prayers for our young men.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




September 6, 2015
15th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

This past week we welcomed our final student for this school year. Andrew Kim is a 15-year old Korean who made the long journey from Seoul to join our seminary. Please remember him in your prayers, as he adjusts to life at the seminary.

It certainly is encouraging that a young man his age would cooperate with God's grace and be able to find our seminary. Of course, it was this web site that Andrew found when he began to search for a minor seminary, in order to pursue his vocation. Before Vatican II there were well over a hundred minor seminaries in this country alone. Their demise was just one more fruit of the horrendous destruction caused by that false council.

Here at Saint Joseph Seminary we continue the work of a traditional minor seminary. Here the boys pursue the normal high school subjects, along with Latin and choir. They follow a daily routine, which includes Mass every morning and common prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. They have the opportunity for weekly confession and spiritual conferences. They follow a rule of life, patterned after traditional seminary rules. They enjoy sports and other wholesome activities. In short, they have a well-rounded life, geared towards preparing them for the priesthood.

Please remember to pray for these young men, as they seek to acquire virtue and to form themselves after the pattern of Christ, the great High Priest.

In the service of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




August 30, 2015
14th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

After classes this past Thursday the seminarians packed the Suburban with their sleeping bags, food supplies and the canoes, and departed for Lake Coeur d'Alene. They enjoyed two wonderful days of swimming, canoeing and games, returning to the seminary Saturday afternoon. This annual tradition is a time for the seminarians to bond as a unit and kick off the school year with some fun time together. Now it is back to studies.

I mentioned last week the smoke in the atmosphere from various wild fires. We have been praying daily for rain, and now the forecast is calling for rain. It is desperately needed to clean out the atmosphere and to suppress the wildfires. Circumstances like these remind us of our dependence on Divine Providence.

This week we anticipate welcoming our fifth and final seminarian for this year. God willing, he will arrive on Tuesday, and so next Sunday I will tell you more about him. Also, one of our seminarians, Mark Vincent, will celebrate his 15th birthday tomorrow.

Today we began a novena in preparation for the feast of Our Lady's nativity, one of her major feasts. Coming as it does at the beginning of the school year, we make the primary intention of this novena the success of the school year. We also will remember you and your needs during this novena. Please continue to pray for our seminary, as we pray for you.

Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




August 23, 2015
13th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

It has been over 2 months since my last blog entry, but now, after a much needed rest, we are ready to get back to school. Tomorrow is the first day of classes here at the seminary. This year there will be 5 seminarians. We will start with 4 students and expect to be joined on September 1 by a new seminarian from Korea. (He had a difficulty getting a ticket for an earlier date, due to summer travel volume.)

Right now, the atmosphere at the seminary is hazy, with a smell of smoke in the air. The smoke from wildfires burning in Central and Eastern Washington is blowing toward us. Fortunately, however, there are no wildfires in our area, but the ground is parched and fire danger is extremely high. We are praying for rain.

This week we will keep a tradition with a camping trip to start off the year. After a few days of classes, the seminarians will leave Thursday afternoon for a cabin on Lake Coeur d'Alene. The purpose of this initial "camping" trip is to provide the boys with a great opportunity to get acquainted with their classmates, with whom they will share the seminary for the next year. There will be plenty of opportunity for swimming, boating, hiking and general fun. Of course, they will also have Mass daily and will recite their daily prayers together.

May God grant us, through Our Lady's intercession, a grace-filled school year. Please pray for our seminarians and teachers for that intention.

Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




June 9, 2015
Sts. Primus & Felician

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

The past 2 weeks have been a whirlwind. After wrapping up our school year last week, we had graduation on Saturday. His Excellency, Bishop Pivarunas, came for the event and handed Jordan his diploma. Later, at the reception, Jordan addressed those present to share memories of his 4 years at the seminary here at the "City of Mary." He thanked all the parishioners and assured them that he will always fondly remember his time here.

After the reception the seminarians pitched in to help set up the outdoor altars for the Corpus Christi procession. Then in the evening, they joined Jordan's family for a barbecue at a neighbor's home. Thanks to the LeStage family for hosting the seminarians and the Hartman family. What a nice way to cap off our school year!

On Sunday we had our annual Corpus Christi procession. Here at Mary Immaculate Queen Church we use 2 outdoor altars, at the shrines of Our Lady and the Sacred Heart. The procession stops at each altar, where the Blessed Sacrament is incensed and benediction is given. During the procession the faithful join in with the choir in singing the various Eucharistic hymns in Latin. The entire event is a beautiful tribute to Our Lord, who remains in our tabernacles as a proof of His love for us.

Now quiet has settled over the seminary, as we enter into "summer mode." This is a time to get caught up on projects, to organize our files and clean our offices, and, of course, to relax. Then, when we get to August, we once again turn our attention to preparing for another school year. May you all have an enjoyable and blessed summer.

Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




May 31, 2015
Feast of the Most Holy Trinity

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

What a beautiful way to finish the month of May! This morning we held our annual outdoor procession and crowning ceremony. All the parishioners brought bouquets of flowers, and during the procession we stopped at the outdoor shrine of Our Lady. As we recited the devotion known as "The Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin Mary," each parishioner went up and put his/her bouquet of flowers into the vases provided on the altar. Now our shrine of Our Blessed Mother has an abundance of multi-colored flowers to add to its beauty. Following this ceremony, we concluded the Rosary as we processed back into the church for the crowning of Our Lady's statue, along with the remaining prayers and hymns, followed by the High Mass.

Much thanks are due to the seminarians for their diligence in preparing the grounds yesterday for this beautiful feastday. They mowed the hillsides so that everything was perfectly fitting for Our Blessed Mother. I am sure she was pleased with their efforts. But it has not been all work for them this past week. They enjoyed an overnight camping trip and have lately been enjoying paintball in our extensive forest. In fact, that is what they are doing right now.

This week will be a busy one for all of us here at the seminary. Tomorrow we celebrate the feast of the Queenship, with a High Mass with incense and the renewal of the act of Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. Those seminarians who have never made this consecration have prepared during the past month to make it for the first time. We also will finish up this week our final academic assignments and material. On Thursday we will celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi, and then on Saturday, Jordan will graduate. His Excellency, Bishop Mark Pivarunas, will come here to preside over our simple, yet beautiful, graduation ceremony. Then, next Sunday, we will hold our annual Corpus Christi procession, in which the Blessed Sacrament is carried in procession. It will indeed be a busy week! May God bless you all.

Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




May 24, 2015
Pentecost Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

This week, our second last week of the current school year, will be a busy one, as the seminarians will have a camping trip, and then will help prepare for our annual procession in honor of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which will take place next Sunday. This annual procession is always a beautiful tribute to Our Lady, so we hope and pray that the weather will be good for this event. In addition to camping, the seminarians will continue to prepare for final exams and assignments, as we draw near to the end of the academic year. There will be much more to write about next week. For now, let us all rejoice during this Octave of Pentecost as we call to mind the work of the Divine Comforter in our souls. May we always cooperate with His grace!

Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




May 10, 2015
Fifth Sunday after Easter

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Happy Mothers' Day to all our mothers! The weather here is getting warmer each day, and so the seminarians are off to the lake for some canoeing this afternoon. This week will also provide an opportunity for an outing on Thursday, since there are no classes on that day, it being a holyday of obligation. We are not sure yet what we will do, but there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities in northern Idaho.

On Wednesday of this week the seminarians will participate in the public Rosary procession in Spokane, a beautiful tribute to Our Lady held on the 13th of each month from May to October. It is a wonderful opportunity to publicly profess our faith and to pray for our country. The seminarians always enjoy participating in this event.

We are now only 4 weeks away from the end of the school year. That means that there are various activities and events associated with the end of school, which I will tell you about in the coming weeks. For now, I will simply mention our planned senior "class trip" for Jordan. As we have only one senior this year, there won't be a class trip in the normal sense of the word. But it should be just as memorable for Jordan, who will accompany me for 10 days to Boston and the New England states. We will leave on Friday and cover the Mass circuit there for the next 2 weekends. The time in between will give us ample opportunity to visit various historic sites in Boston and throughout New England, so stay tuned for a report in the next issue of our monthly newsletter.

With school nearly over, we are looking forward to next year and praying for more vocations. We ask you also to pray for that important intention. May God bless you and your families.

Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




May 3, 2015
Finding of the Holy Cross

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Here at Saint Joseph Seminary and Mary Immaculate Queen Church we have some beautiful May customs. Our May shrine in the church is bedecked with fresh flowers, provided by our parishioners. Daily we pray our Rosary at the church, with many of the local parishioners participating. There is also a daily May crowning, with devotions in honor of the Queenship.

At the seminary we continue our normal routine, as the teachers wrap up the subject matter for the year. Later in May, there will be outings and so for now, there is a greater emphasis on academics. The seminarians also are in the midst of the annual pool tournament, which brings some excitement to their daily routine.

May we all grow in our love for Our Blessed Mother this month!

Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




April 26, 2015
Third Sunday after Easter

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

What a beautiful weekend it has been. Our Forty Hours Adoration here at Mary Immaculate Queen Church is annually held in late April, during the Easter season. The seminarians have all had the opportunity to serve in the ceremonies and to spend time in adoration, especially in making a nocturnal Holy Hour in the wee hours of the morning yesterday. Today we will end the Forty Hours of exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with closing ceremonies at 4:30 this afternoon, but not before each seminarian has made one more hour of adoration.

Yesterday was also a busy day of chores for our seminarians, as they helped Fr. Anthony in the sacristy, staining and varnishing the cabinets. The sacristy for our seminary chapel has long been in need of repair, and it is nice to see that the remodel is now almost finished. Each of the seminarians can be proud of having had a part in these repairs, which have been in progress for the past few weeks.

The coming week will have plenty of important events as well. Tuesday, the feast of Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, is the day on which we annually begin our 33-day preparation for the Act of Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, as outlined by Saint Louis. Those who have already formally made the act of consecration will recite the prayers for their annual renewal; those who have never made the act of consecration can prepare to consecrate themselves on May 31st. There will also be classes during our weekly spiritual conferences to explain the fine points of this consecration, as outlined by Saint Louis Marie de Montfort.

On Friday, we begin the month of Our Blessed Mother. The seminarians will construct a May shrine in the classroom, before which we will daily pray devotions to Our Lady. Each day of the month is assigned to one of the seminarians for providing fresh flowers for the shrine. We will also participate during this month in the daily public Rosary at the church in the evening. All in all, it is a beutiful month, as we wind down the school year.

This Friday is also the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. Mass will be offered for all who contributed to our annual Lenten Alms Drive. We are most grateful for the support and remember all our benefactors in our daily prayers. May we all grow in our love and devotion to Our Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph this month.


Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




April 19, 2015
Second Sunday after Easter

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

This will be a busy week at the seminary. On Friday, we will begin our annual Forty Hours adoration, with the opening Mass and procession. Next weekend will find us all making hours of adoration, in addition to the public holy hours each evening. Due to the Forty Hours adoration, we will not be able, this year, to have our normal procession of the Major Litanies, which occur on Saturday.

With the spring weather, we are now spending a good deal of time outside, working on the spacious grounds around our seminary and church. That includes mowing the grass -- a task that takes quite a few hours to complete! The seminarians also enjoy going to the park once or twice each week, so that they can recreate on nice fields that are level.

We also begin this week our annual pool tournament, which extends over the next couple weeks. All in all, the seminarians are keeping plenty busy, as we push to finish our academic curriculum in the time that remains. Before we know it, the school year will be over and summer will be at hand; consequently, we are doing our best to keep the students focused on study and the spiritual life. Each day is a gift from God, to be used to grow in His grace and love.


Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




April 13, 2015
Saint Hermenegild

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Today we return to our normal routine of classes, well-rested from our Easter vacation. There are now just 8 weeks remaining of the current school year, and we know the time will pass all too quickly. Consequently, we are resolved to use these remaining school days to the best of our ability. Next week, I will tell you about some of the events that are coming up. For now, it is a diligent return to our studies that is the focus.



Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




April 5, 2015
Easter Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us be glad and rejoice therein! This verse of psalm 117 is fittingly applied by Holy Mother Church to the feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord. It is the feast of feasts, and for us at Saint Joseph Seminary, the beginning of a week of much-needed rest from the labors of the school year. After participating in all the ceremonies of the past week, 4 of our seminarians have gone home to be with their families. The two who have remained for the week helped with the parish Easter Egg Hunt today. Now they (and their teachers!) will relax and perhaps catch up on a few projects. We hope you all enjoy the Easter Octave. May God bless you and your loved ones this Paschal Season.



Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




March 29, 2015
Palm Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Holy Week is called The Great Week. All the seminarians have a part in the various ceremonies of this beautiful week, much of which is spent rehearsing and celebrating the sacred Liturgy. Future priests need to learn that their lives as priests will revolve around the Liturgy; hence, our students are imbued with an appreciation for the rites of Holy Mother Church. Of course, that especially pertains to Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, referred to as the Sacred Triduum.

On the first 3 days of this week, however, our seminarians will take the Stanford-Ten achievement tests. These annual tests are for the purpose of evaluating their academic progress. Nevertheless, our students (both the seminarians and the children of our parish school) generally look upon them as an unpleasant chore, since their performance will not be reflected on their gradecards. Thus, it is a good penance, as we finish the final week of Lent! We usually schedule these tests each year at the beginning of the Fourth Quarter. That fits perfectly this year, as it would be difficult to begin the academic material for the Fourth Quarter with just a few days of classes remaining until their Easter Break.

Last week was quite busy, however, as we wrapped up our tests for the Third Quarter. The seminarians had a number of tests, book reports, compositions and a theology presentation to fulfill. As you can imagine, they are relieved that the stress of exams and papers is past. Now they can concentrate better on the liturgical element of Holy Week. We also will compile The Guardian mailing this week and post that to you. Then, on Saturday, those seminarians who are going home for Easter vacation will head home.

In general, we have all been enjoying the beautiful spring weather of this past week. There has been a lot of rain but also warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine. The blossoms of spring are a welcome sight each year and a reminder of the resurrection -- Our Lord's and our own future resurrection. Let us all spend this week well, looking forward to our future resurrection and life everlasting, with our Risen Savior.

Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




March 22, 2015
Passion Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Just yesterday the seminarians put violet coverings over the statues in our church and chapel, as we prepared to enter Passiontide. During this final two weeks of Lent Holy Mother Church wishes us to more earnestly meditate on the Passion of Our Lord. Here at the seminary all unnecessary extra-curricular activities are suspended until Easter, that we might focus entirely on Jesus crucified.

The past week, however, was brimming with activities, as we celebrated the feastdays of Saint Joseph and Saint Patrick. Last Sunday, as you know, was our breakfast fund-raiser for the parish. That is always a wholesome activity for everyone. Then, on Saint Patrick's Day we held a contest. Each seminarian prepared a limerick, poem or song to present. The judges were the teachers, and everyone had a most enjoyable time.

On Thursday, of course, we had a special schedule to honor our great seminary patron. The focus of the day was the High Mass sung by the seminarians, with Fr. Anthony directing. We had a special dinner with the faculty members present, a movie and extra free time. We also had the conclusion of our annual ping-pong tournament. This past week we also enjoyed an ice-skating outing. Then, on Saturday, I blessed Saint Benedict medals to distribute to all members of the parish. It was indeed a busy week.

Yesterday, the seminarians participated in our annual spring clean-up day. The parishioners turn out to help us rake and clean up the grounds before Holy Week. Now, this week the seminarians will spend extra time preparing for the liturgy, learning the various parts they are assigned to serve. It is also the final week of the Third Quarter, which means quarter tests. Also, on Wednesday, we will renew our act of Total Consecration to Jesus and Mary. Before we know it, Holy Week will be here. Let us all spend this Passiontide well!

Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




March 15, 2015
Laetare Sunday

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

The highlight of this week will be the celebration of our seminary feastday on Thursday. The seminarians will sing the High Mass, and there will be an outing in honor of Saint Joseph. Regular classes are suspended for the day, as we rejoice on the feastday of our seminarian patron. Of course, we continue to recite daily prayers in his honor thoughout the month.

We also will celebrate the feast of Saint Patrick on Tuesday with a small contest: the seminarians are writing limericks, and there will be a prize for the best entry. In addition, this week they will finish the ping-pong tournament. All in all, there is plenty to keep them occupied in their free time.

Of course, we continue to observe the season of Lent. On Saturday, the seminarians will put up the purple covers on the statues in our seminary chapel and in the church, as we prepare for Passiontide. Let us all redouble our efforts to make a good Lent, as we now have only 3 weeks remaining.

Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




March 8, 2015
Third Sunday of Lent

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

The seminarians (and I) have just completed our Lenten retreat. What a grace is a good retreat! During a retreat one can pray better, with less distraction. Also, the truths of Faith are more vivid. We see more clearly than ever the purpose of our creation, the love of our divine Redeemer in dying for us, and the necessity of always striving for holiness. One of the greatest graces of the retreat was our all-night vigil of adoration, each seminarian spending an hour alone with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. I am sure that one of the seminarians will want to write about this and other events of the retreat for our next newsletter.

Of course, this month is entirely dedicated to Saint Joseph. Daily we pray devotions in his honor, but this week (on March 10), we will begin the novena, during which we recite additional prayers daily in preparation for his feast. You can be sure that we will especially remember our seminary benefactors in these prayers. March is also a month when we particularly pray to Saint Joseph to send us more vocations. This past week we have received our first application for next year. God willing, there will be many more.

Much of this week will follow a normal routine, but if the weather permits, the seminarians will have their 3rd and final ski trip on Friday. Then, on Saturday, they will work to prepare next Sunday's parish breakfast, which requires plenty of preparation. Also, on Saturday, we will celebrate the 14th birthday of Joseph, our youngest seminarian. This week also marks the mid-way point of Lent, as Thursday is the 20th of the 40 days of Lent. As the days quickly speed by, let us be sure to spend the time well, as we continue to prepare to celebrate Our Lord's resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




March 1, 2015
Second Sunday of Lent

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Today we begin the month of our great patron, Saint Joseph. Here at the seminary we pray devotions in his honor daily throughout the month and seek to honor him in other ways as well. As you know, Saint Joseph is the patron of the Church. Needless to say, we need his powerful intercession today more than ever. I want to encourage all of you to be sure to do something extra daily during this month in his honor. Remember, that Jesus and Mary cannot refuse the requests of Saint Joseph, so go to him with great confidence.

Last Sunday I had mentioned an important theology report, which the boys are now working on. Since we are currently studying Church history, they have each chosen a topic to study in great depth, upon which they will report. The assignment includes a research paper, a presentation to the class, and a poster. There are a lot of details to be fulfilled, so this is going to take a lot of their time this month. The report is due on March 25, toward the end of the quarter.

Another way by which the seminarians occupy their free time is in making movies. They have made several movies so far, which keeps them busy during their spare time on the weekends. They do everything: writing the script, gathering costumes, filming, editing, and composing music for it. It amazes me how much time they are willing to put into these projects, and how much they enjoy doing it.

But during next weekend there will be no time for fun and games. For on Friday we begin our annual Lenten retreat. Each year the seminarians make a retreat on the first or second weekend of Lent, from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. It is a wonderful time for quiet reflection, prayer and extra spiritual reading. There are usually five conferences on the spiritual life, along with Lenten exercises, such as the Stations of the Cross. But the greatest blessing is the all-night vigil of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament exposed. Each seminarian is assigned an hour of adoration, at the conclusion of which he wakes up the person for the next Holy Hour. To be able to spend an hour of silence, alone with Our Lord, in the darkness of the night, is a wonderful blessing.

Please pray for our seminarians, that they will cooperate with the graces available to them during the retreat. We also will pray for you, that this Lent will be a time of many graces.

Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




02-11-2015

Dear Friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Feasts of Our Lady are always important days at the seminary, as we see to honor Our Blessed Mother. This week the seminarians are looking forward to their second skiing outing of the year on Friday. Interestingly, the weather has been unusually mild over the past couple weeks. We have had rain, with highs in the upper 40s and even low 50s -- very unusual for early February in the northwest. Most of our snow is gone; nevertheless, there is still plenty of snow for skiing in the mountains. The conditions are what is referred to as spring skiing, with the temperature on the mountain above freezing, and the snow wet and packed.

This week we are also looking forward to, and preparing for, the season of Lent, which is now only one week away. The seminarians are preparing their list of penances and extra prayers, which they will submit for approval. We always remind them of the importance of Lent, a season of penance, but at the same time, to be prudent and not to attempt too many penances. That is why they must submit their Lenten program to their spiritual director for approval. After all, their first penance is that of daily duty. Speaking of daily duty, our seminarians continue to concentrate on their studies in Latin, Math, Theology, English, Biology, and Speech. In addition, they have classes in choir and P.E.

Let us all reflect on the Passion of Christ and prepare for Lent by thinking of what we can do to prove our love for Jesus, who suffered so much for us.

Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




01-31-2015

Dear friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

The past week has been a sad one for me, as my father passed away on Sunday evening, January 25th. He had been in the hospital since the previous Sunday, suffering from pneumonia and a bacterial infection in his bloodstream. Although I will greatly miss him, I take great comfort in knowing the type of man he was. For those of you who never knew him, we will post the eulogy for his funeral, which gives some details of his life. All the seminarians and staff of our minor seminary attended the funeral Mass, which was offered on Friday at Mount Saint Michael in Spokane, which is only 25 miles from our seminary. I was assisted at the Mass by: my brother, Fr. Brendan Hughes, CMRI, who acted as deacon; Fr. Nino Molina, a former seminarian of our seminary, who acted as subdeacon; Fr. Anthony M. Short, CMRI, another former seminarian and current teacher in our seminary, who acted as MC; my nephew, who was the thurifer; and two of our seminarians, who were the acolytes. We will also post on the home page some photos of the funeral.

One of the emails of condolence I received over the past few days was from an old family friend, a good Catholic man who was about the same age as my father. He wrote of my father as follows: "We go back a long way. It seems we were always figthing some kind of battle -- Communism, new catechisms, the Novus Ordo, short skirts, etc. We encouraged each other with 'It's not how many battles we win, but how we fight that we will be judged. Our reward will be in heaven.' He is now receiving his reward." I appreciate those kind words, and I also ask you to remember the repose of my father's soul in your prayers.

This coming week is an important one here at the seminary, as we begin with the great feast of the Purification of Our Lady. Mass is preceded by the annual blessing of candles. We always prepare well for these important liturgical ceremonies, with all the seminarians participating. Then on Tuesday we will have the blessing of throats, in honor of Saint Blaise. On Friday we will have benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, with devotions in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is customary here on all First Fridays. We appreciate your interest in our seminary and your prayers. May God bless you all.

Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI
Rector




01-23-2015

Dear friends of Saint Joseph Seminary,

Welcome to a new addition to our web site, which is a weekly blog entry. This will keep you updated on the latest news from the minor seminary. Right now as I write this (Friday, 1/23), we are finishing our first semester tests. So this weekend our teachers will work on averaging grades, while the seminarians enjoy a semester break! Last week, the seminarians had their first ski trip of the season, with another one coming up next week. Of course, there were a couple seminarians who enjoyed the sport for the first time, so you can look forward in our next issue of the newsletter to an article on their recent trip to the slopes of Silver Mountain.

The other bit of news is that we received this past week a new seminarian. Pierce Ledet is a sophomore from southwestern Louisiana, and we are delighted to have him in our ranks. Please keep all our boys in your prayers, as we pray for you.

From the Rector