Support Seminarian - Joshua Heiman

$2,495 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 28 people in 7 months
Created January 4, 2019
Fundraising Team
Dear Friends and Benefactors, As you probably know, I am currently in the first year of my seminary formation with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest at our International Seminary in Gricigliano, Italy. Here, in the beautiful hills of Tuscany just fifteen minutes away from Florence, I am blessed to live in a community of over eighty fellow seminarians from around the world. During our seven-year-long formation, we are taught in the spirit of St. Francis de Sales (one of the Institute's patron saints) and prepared to be, God-willing, good and faithful priests who are one day able to preach the truth of Christ and His Church and to celebrate the Sacraments daily, especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The liturgical life of the Church is the center of our daily lives throughout our formation here at the seminary. I am writing to you today to ask you once again to support the Institute's International Seminary with your generous financial assistance. Our Institute does not reject any applicant for financial reasons. Even if the families of many of our confreres are not able to pay the full monthly tuition of $1,050, all young men who are sincere in their faith and who want to serve Christ with all their strength, will be accepted. Please help the Institute allow this work of divine charity to continue. Thank you for your prayers and financial support! Joshua Heiman
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Greetings from Gricigliano!

Happy Ascension of Our Lord!

For the feast of the Ascension we have thus far been graced with a solemn mass celebrated by a Benedictine monk visiting as a professor. Later this evening we will continue the celebrations with solemn vespers at which we will sing antiphons, psalms, and hymns in honor of this day which Christ ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father.

In the last month, the other first year seminarians and I were blessed to visit Rome with the prefect of the first year, Canon Poucin de Wouilt. Our one week sojourn in the Eternal City was filled with incredible events and visits including two masses celebrated in Saint Peter’s, a tour of Saint Peter’s given by a Swiss guard, a personal tour of the Papal Palace, and a visit to the catacombs of Saint Sebastian (in which we were able to celebrate mass at one of the ancient altars)! As a part of our visit, we were able as well to meet with two different cardinals: Cardinal Harvey (from Milwaukie) who gave us a tour of Saint Paul Outside the Wall (one of the papal basilicas) of which he is the “archpriest” (he who is in charge of the church second to the pope) and Cardinal Burke with whom we were able to spend some time at his residence in Rome! During two days of our stay, the first years were given the permission to were the cassock for the March for Life and for a pontifical high mass celebrated by Cardinal Burke (and what a wonderful experience it was to get a pre-taste of what it will be like to were the cassock). To finish our pilgrimage, the Prior General and founder of the Institute, Monseigneur Wach, hosted us for dinner in our house in Rome during which he gave us many stories of his time in formation and as a young priest giving us alongside many bits of wisdom for our own formation.

Having returned from Rome, we have now only two more days of classes before we begin our preparations for our second set of exams. The next two and a half weeks we will be given almost the entire day exclusively for studies in order to learn as well as possible the information that will serve us for the rest of our priestly ministry.

Once again I would like to thank you all for your prayers and support and I ask, as my confreres and I get closer and closer to ordination week (at which the first years will receive the cassock and the tonsure), that you continue to grant these to us. Without your prayers and without the help of God therefrom we would not be able to succeed in bringing God to others.

With the assurance of my continued prayers,
Joshua Heiman
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Christus Resurexit Alleluia!

A great thank you and a happy Easter to all!

As you may very well imagine, here at the seminary Holy Week and Easter were (and in fact still are since Easter is celebrated 8 days) grand events. Before the incredible liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday the seminarians began a three day retreat to properly prepare ourselves for the “Great Week” (one of the titles used for Holy Week) with several conferences given by Canon Hellman, the spiritual director of the seminary. After our time of prayer for preparation, we had the blessing to receive Cardinal Burke last Wednesday who would remain with us until Easter Sunday.

On Holy Thursday the cardinal celebrated the mass “In Cena Domini” which is the celebration of the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the commemoration of the first mass celebrated by Our Lord Himself at the Last Supper. Unfortunately the ceremonies are much too numerous to list and to give all of the symbolism, but I assure you that it was absolutely splendid! Though to ensemble is too difficult to include, after the mass there is the “Mandatum”, a ceremony incredibly ancient in which the feet of 13 people (based on a tradition that is commonly attributed to a miracle with Pope Saint Gregory the Great; before this it was only 12) are washed by the celebrant of the ceremony. Each year 13 of the first year seminarians are chosen to have their feet washed by no other than the vicar general and founder of the Institute Monseigneur Wach. As one of the 13, I was blessed to see the man in charge of our entire order humble himself to kneel down and wash my foot; this was one of the most beautiful and edifying ceremonies of the whole week.

The ceremony of Good Friday and the mass of Easter Sunday were celebrated by the cardinal once again while Monseigneur Wach celebrated the mass of Holy Saturday. After the mass on Saturday, the whole community gathered for some hot chocolate to catch our breath after the fatiguing couple of days during which the prefect of the first year seminarians Canon Poucin gave me the news that…

I will be receiving the cassock and tonsure in July!

This will be the first big step my path and that of the other first year seminarians towards the priesthood. From this point on, we will be preparing ourselves to live visibly as clergy and to more publicly give testimony to our service to God.

As we continue the last few months before our reception of the cassock, I ask especially that you continue to pray for me and my confreres and that you continue to help us with your support. To properly dispose oneself to take up such a great responsibility we will need all the graces that we can get!

Once again thank you all for your generosity and God bless!

Joshua Heiman
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Greetings from Gricigliano!

This past month has been rather busy with the beginning of lent and (mixed amongst the mortifications thereof) several big feasts for the Church and especially the Institute.

As normal, we began our Lenten practices by the traditional blessing and imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday. This tradition was put into practice originally for the “public penitents” who wished to come back into reconciliation with the Church. These people were those who committed some type of public sin which would have been a scandal to the Christian people and thus they would perform this public act of penance to show to the whole Church that they wished to change their life and return to the service of Our Lord. The use of ashes is a tradition that goes back well into the Old testament as a sign of repentance for offenses against God which was then continued by the early Christians. Later on, the rest of the faithful began to ask for permission to be included in this ceremony to express their sorrow for their shortcomings in the service of God thus beginning the common practice of imposing ashes on all of the faithful.

The following day we celebrated the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas, one of the patron saints of the Institute. Saint Thomas is renowned as a great theologian of the Christian patrimony with his most famous work the “Summa Theologica” being the basis for Catholic studies even to this day! In his works, he beautifully and clearly explains the Christian mysteries found in the Sacred Scriptures and in the Tradition of the Church. The Institute adopted him as patron to show our desire to remain faithful to the teachings of Christ and to show our dedication to the study of Sacred Scripture and the theology which follows.

Not long after (of course broken up by our Lenten sacrifices), we were blessed to have the feast of Saint Joseph. As he was the protector of Jesus and Our Lady in their flight into Egypt and all through the Sacred Childhood of Our Lord, Saint Joseph was declared the Holy Protector of the Church since one of the titles given to the Church is the “Mystical Body of Christ”. As a part of this celebration, two of our sisters were blessed to take their first vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and receive the black veil. This marks a large milestone in their formation coming one step closer to their permanent vows to stay in the service of God.

After only one day of the austerities of Lent, we once again celebrated, this time the feast of Saint Benedict, the “Father of Europe” and another patron of the Institute. Saint Benedict was the founder of the famous Benedictine order in the early sixth century which would later become the largest monastic order in the western world. It is through the work of these monks that Christianity spread through the entirety of Europe as they went from place to place founding monasteries as great monuments of the service of Christ. As well, the monks took up the practice of copying manuscripts of many ancient works, a practice that granted the knowledge of the past to remain accessible for years to come since the papyrus at that time was beginning to disintegrate. Without their copies, we would have completely lost the historical works of the great Greek and Latin philosophers and poets from before the time of Christ and possibly many from after.

The mass for the feast of Saint Benedict was celebrated by Monseigneur Wach, the prior general of the Institute. His sermon explained the great example of Benedict as a man of sacrifice. He took up great fasts and mortifications for reparation of sins and thus he gives us a beautiful model for this time of lent (even if on his feast day proper our Lenten observances were suspended).

As we continue this time of Lent to prepare ourselves for the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord I ask that you continue to pray for my confreres and myself. By your prayers and financial support we will be able to become greater imitators of Christ and better servants of God and His faithful.

Once again I thank all of you for your prayers and support! If you can, continue to share this page to help support the formation of the priests of tomorrow!

With the assurance of my prayers,
Joshua Heiman
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Greetings from Gricigliano!

Once again I wish to thank you all for your support! Without your prayers and generosity my time here at the seminary would not be as fruitful as it has been so far!

Since my last update we have finished our first session of exams and have once again began our ordinary schedule of prayer in common and classes. Though not all of the exams have been scored, thus far the grades I have received have all been passing (which for a first exam session at the seminary is rather encouraging)!

Aside from academic happenings, we have had a few new spiritual events as well.

Earlier this month we were blessed to have a few ordinations. Two of our seminarians where ordained as deacons, one a subdeacon, another received all of the minor orders, and the last received the tonsure (for those who are unaware as to what "subdeacon", "minor orders" or "tonsure" are, don't worry. It would be a little long to explain, but I will be able to do so should you all be curious).

The same week, we had several of the sisters in our order receive the habit and take their first vows! Among them we count four Americans (especially impressive since the sisters don't yet have a convent in the United States)! The ceremony was absolutely beautiful. The sisters (at this point still laity) walk in down the aisle with their father dressed in a wedding gown (a beautiful image of a spouse of Christ!). Afterwards the make their promise to live for Christ and to live in a house of the Institute. Once the vows have been made, they receive the veil and then leave from the church to change into their habit. From there, they are given their religious names (this traditional custom is symbolic of their firm decision to live a new life in Christ. New life, new name!).

More recently, we have begun what in the traditional calendar is called the season of Septuagesima. Septuagesima is sort of a pre-lent; during this time the word "alleluia" is no longer sung during our prayers and at mass and as well the vestments on Sundays are already violet. This time was instituted for the conversion of the pagans in the north of Europe who, at the time, frequently attacked other established villages. During Spetuagesima, the clergy would already begin there lenten practices while the laity would be able to prepare themselves to have a good and fruitful lent. This liturgical season, though only known in the traditional calendar, out dates even Ash Wednesday!

As we enter back into our usual routine and begin to prepare for a holy lent, I asked for your prayers for me and my confreres that we keep our routines always lively and in the service of God and His people.

Once again I thank you all for your prayers and support and I ask that you continue praying for me and my confreres and continue with your generosity! If you can, please share this with friends and family to help support us seminarians as future priests and servants of the people of God.

God bless!

With the assurance of my prayers,
Joshua Heiman
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$2,495 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 28 people in 7 months
Created January 4, 2019
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