Led Into the Truth
February 12, 2010
Literary Formation
By Father Joshua Allen

It is not often that I read a book and find myself engrossed in a process that I suspect will alter my world view. I enjoy reading, but most books are not enduringly memorable. Right now, I am reading one that I think will change the way I think. In fact, since Christmas, I have read two books that have fundamentally challenged the way that I look at the world, my own personal holiness, and the very possibilities for holiness in our world. My guess is that most of you have not heard of...

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December 23, 2009
The Feast of Reality
By Father Joshua Allen

Last Christmas, I woke up early in the morning and drove with a small group from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.  We made our way into the Basilica of the Nativity, finding the sacristy to prepare for Mass.  I was somewhat alarmed at how quiet and empty the church was; after all, was this not the very place where our Lord came to dwell among us, in a cave on the hillside of the City of David?  We processed quietly and solemnly to the grotto, careful on the steps not to trip, and found ourselves at...

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December 03, 2009
An Accidental Devotion
By Father Joshua Allen

Once a year, the Atlanta men take a fraternity weekend away from Rome.  This year we traveled to Padua in the northern part of the country.

Padua is famous for three things:
1)It is the burial place of St. Anthony of Padua;
2) It is the burial place of St. Luke the Evangelist; and
3)The Scrovegni Chapel, one of Giotto’s masterpieces, is found there

Frankly, there is not a lot in the town with which to keep oneself busy for a whole weekend, but since the purpose of a fraternity weekend...

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November 06, 2009
Respect and Obedience
By Father Joshua Allen

With less than a year (God-willing!!) until my ordination to the Diaconate, I have been reflecting on the promises that I will make during the liturgy when I stand before a genuine successor to the Apostles and offer my life to God in a definitive way.  In the Rite of Ordination, the bishop asks, “Do you promise respect and obedience to your Ordinary?”  If the seminarian isn’t looking for an extraordinarily awkward public conversation, he replies, “I do!”  This promise is...

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October 26, 2009
A Revelation of Desire
By Father Joshua Allen

The North American College is back in session, classes have resumed, and the long transition period when the seminarians are in Rome but without a regular schedule has been replaced by the day-in  day-out rhythm of life. After a hiatus from writing, conditioned primarily by the haphazardness of my own availability, Led Into the Truth is entering a new phase. I am less than one year from my ordination to the transitional diaconate, God-willing, and suddenly the place to which I am being led...

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September 21, 2009
Impossible Possibilities
By Father Joshua Allen

A few weeks ago, the ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /Atlanta seminarians gathered for a retreat.  My favorite activity was sitting with friends on the porch engrossed in deep conversation.  One topic that came up was the nature of the vocation to the married life.  A group of five or six of us reflected on our own family lives growing up.  Several of us (me included) had divorced parents, and all of us know people who never met their father.  We...

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August 21, 2009
Mystagogical Visitations
By Father Joshua Allen

One year ago this week, I was deep into my summer pastoral assignment at the ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /Pontifical Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem, Israel.  That summer was absolutely incredible—any who read my column regularly will know that I have an exceeding fondness for the Holy Land.  I met friends there with whom I continue to be close; our shared experiences of the holiness of the place and the magnificence of the people formed a...

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August 06, 2009
To Visit and Be Visited
By Father Joshua Allen

My mother returned to the Lord just months before I entered Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in August 2005.  She had fought a long battle with a physically debilitating disease and succumbed to an infection the previous May.  Both my brother and I were given the grace to be there by her bed as she took her last breath, an image now burned into my mind.  Perhaps because of the decision I had finally made to enter seminary or perhaps just because I was a little older, her passing and the funeral...

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July 24, 2009
Beginnings and Ends
By Father Joshua Allen

In my home diocese of ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /Atlanta, all of the seminarians gather on Wednesday evenings for Mass and dinner, which is an opportunity to meet new men and to renew existing friendships.  This gathering is especially important for those of us who study in Rome, since we are more separated from the diocese during the year.  For the last two weeks, we have been treated to something truly wonderful: newly ordained priests...

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July 10, 2009
A Moveable Feast
By Father Joshua Allen

Each of us has a different experience of what it means to be part of a parish.  For some people, their parish is something geographically close to them and nothing more—a place where they reluctantly trudge for Mass on Sunday.  For others, it is a center for their life—a place to encounter God sacramentally and in other people, to make friends, and to sustain their strength in the daily struggle to follow Christ. 

For diocesan seminarians, our parish experience is even more complicated...

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