A few days ago we celebrated the birthday of a house Spiritual Director – Fr Ronald Ramson. Spiritual Directors meet with Seminarians on a bi-weekly basis and provide guidance on our interior lives. They help us grow in awareness of God’s movement in prayer and serve as confidential outlets to speak about discernment. They also serve as confessors.
Fr Ramson is not my personal spiritual director, but his office is always open if you want to talk. He is a very wise man with a great sense of humor. He’s been a priest for 50+ years with the Congregation of the Mission (aka Vincentians – Named after their founder, St. Vincent de Paul) and still serves us with a joyful heart. His order is devoted to serving the poor and working in seminaries. He’s done a lot of both in his life. He served as a parish pastor, a seminary rector in St. Louis, and professor and formator at a seminary in Kenya. He has some crazy stories from those experiences and gives great homilies. A famous line:
“Is Jesus bringing you joy? Are you happy? If so, please inform your face.”
So we have an unofficial deal – When I won’t want to wait in line at the designated Confession time, I just stop by his office in the afternoon and ask. He obliges, and in exchange I offer free tech support. I’m convinced I get the better end of the bargain. It looks something like this.
Me – Hey Father, can you hear a confession?Fr R- Absolutely. Come on in*Sins forgiven. Sacramental grace conferred*Fr R – Hey before you go, can you help me figure out how to connect to Internet/get a new app/stream this video/update the software/etc?*I fix the issue while we chat about school and baseball and Vincentian Saints*Fr R – Thank you! Stop by anytime, and leave the door open for the next guy.
Only in seminary. What a man. What a life.