St. John Vianney Theological Seminary begins a new chapter of her history with the installation of her new rector, Very Reverend Daniel Leonard. On September 8, 2017, Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Father-Rector was installed by Archbishop Aquila. Also present were Cardinal Stafford, Monsignor Glenn, more than 25 priests, as well faculty and seminarians. Below are the remarks he gave at the close of the Mass.
Father Leonard’s Remarks
“I want to thank his Eminence, Cardinal Stafford, for your vision in founding the seminary and especially to you, Archbishop, for the trust given to me in this appointment as rector of St. John Vianney.
The logic of the gospel is that some sow and others reap. And so as the fourth rector of St. John Vianney, I want to express my thanks to the rectors that have gone before me. I am very conscious of the fact that I am reaping from the things that they have sown. Here I am very grateful for having present two of them. Of course, the first one, Archbishop and also Monsignor Glenn. Thank you for everything that you have done for this great ecclesiastical institution that I know you have a profound love for.
I undertake this responsibility very conscious of the tremendous responsibility that it entails: To look after the seed of God’s calling given into the hearts of some men. This is what the Latin word semini, seminarium means: to look after that seed of God’s calling.
But I am very grateful to have in that task the help of a very dedicated, a very experienced, a very talented faculty and staff. They really contribute so much in the fulfilling of our mission. And, as well, my gratitude to the many benefactors who over the years have, again with profound love, supported this mission and this task.
My only goal and my pledge to you, my dear brother seminarians, in this case, is to walk with you. And to walk with you on this great journey. The journey of discipleship in becoming better followers of Christ, bolder believers in the Gospel. This journey in which we try and configure our hearts together to the Heart of Christ the High Priest of the New Covenant and to the Heart of Christ the Good Shepherd. So that we can be more open to receive the gift, the gift that which none of us is worthy of: the gift of his priesthood.
So as we begin very symbolically on this anniversary, actually, of the first class of the seminary and on the Feast Day of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I place as well this rectorship under her mantle… with a prayer to her that the Mother of Priests may indeed guide me and indeed may bless us all.”