Hopeful Words from a Future Catholic Priest

June 7, 2019

There is a great deal of bad news about the state of the Catholic Church of late. We shouldn’t deny it or dismiss it; to do so would be foolish. We should have our eyes wide open about the reality of our situation. But amidst the destruction wrought by sin and the failings of men, there are real signs of hope.

One of them is the high quality of seminarians currently preparing for the priesthood. I’ve met many of them myself, and I can attest that those whom I have met are true “Catholic gentlemen”—holy young men striving to serve the Lord and his Church with zeal, orthodoxy, and love. Few things give me more hope for the future of the Church than this.

Below is a letter I received from one such seminarian. With his permission, I am sharing his letter in the hopes that it will encourage you in these difficult times. – Sam

Good afternoon, Mr. Guzman!

I’m a fourth year seminarian from the diocese of ______. I just wanted to thank you for all the work you’ve done throughout the years…I’ve followed you for quite some time, and benefit greatly from your content.

I also wanted to share a brief word of hope: in the post-McCarrick era, it seems harder and harder for us to live with joy and peace of spirit. But as a seminarian, I’m so excited by what I see in the the men surrounding me!

There’s always a few with rough edges or personal problems, but the vast majority of the men I know are good men who strive for virtue and holiness, who long to serve the people of God, and who work together to better prepare themselves for that mission.

The trend in seminaries, at least in my experience, is a return to orthodoxy: we know that the Church in our country has been pasteurized, watered down and made to feel embarrassed by its heritage. We know that there’s a lot of work to be done. We know that many priests are hostile to us, feel that we are turning the wheel of time backwards (a silly thought; time moves forward, period).

Recapturing the values and traditions of the church is about renewal… it would be impossible to return to the way things used to be, and rightly so, but we can recapture the good things we’ve let go and infuse them into the church in our own time.) This hostility is blatant and frequently articulated, even in our own dioceses.

But the younger priests, ordained in the last twenty five years or so, are helping us adjust. They know that things must change. And the crisis of sexual abuse among clergy has priests angry. They’re talking to us about it… they’re telling us how frustrated they are to have spent decades in ministry only to be accused of pedophilia by strangers in the grocery store. This anger, and the hope of our young priests, is fueling the seminarians I know in our search for holiness, for orthodoxy, for healing in the church. 

Anyway, I’m not sure why I felt the need to write to you today. But I want to tell everyone I can that better days are coming. There will be more scandals…I’m certain. We’re not done yet. But we’re getting ready to fight with everything we have, to teach the traditions and truths of our Catholic faith, and possibly to be martyred for that faith. It’s a possibility we talk about pretty often in seminary, among ourselves at least. Those who haven’t the stomach for it leave. The ones who stay are amazing men.

Just this spring I know of six men ordained to the priesthood from several dioceses, all of whom I see as great leaders. They challenged our house to live holy lives, and I’m certain they will do the same in parishes. There is hope. Not only that, there is surety. Christ’s victory is won, and although these times seem like the worst, so has every time of struggle in the church.

The corruption and weakness will be burned away in the light of the Holy Spirit, and the remaining Church may well be small, but it will be empowered with a pentecostal fire and the strength of the communion of saints, the teachings of the church, and the sanctifying grace of the sacraments. We shall overcome. 

Thanks again for everything you do, and know of my prayers for you, your family, and your ministry.

God bless!
A Seminarian

Sam Guzman


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Reader Interactions


  1. Joseph says

    Let’s hope they keep that fervor into their priesthood. Because it is a whole different world. Pray very hard for your priests, that they may stay disciplined in prayer, fervent in their devotions, trustworthy in parish dealings, and always have a kind and good heart.

  2. Frank Cicero says

    God bless the the new soldiers Christ coming in to our churches and God bless the priests who are faithful to Christ whose cross has become a bit heavier during the crisis we face . I will keep you in my prayers

  3. brianhoneill says

    What a heartwarming story. Your article brings a very bright ray of hope amidst the secular world’s constant gnawing emptiness, aiming always to grind us into a state of desoair.
    Thank you and God Bless you and your work.

  4. Eleanor Croy says

    What these future priests need to understand is that this sex abuse crisis is only a crisis because it got out to the media. The Church has been systematically hiding sex abuse crimes by priests and other clergy since at least the council of Elvira in the early 4th century.

    If these future priests want to reform the Church they need to realize what they’re up against: a two-millennia old Good Old Boys Club which relies on secrecy and cover-ups “for the good of the Church” … to save face.

    I say this as a cradle Catholic in good standing. I love Holy Mother Church… and I hate how She is being gang-raped by the very hierarchy that is supposed to protect Her.

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