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President of CRS addresses Assumption Seminary Centennial Civic Luncheon

January 07, 2015 | posted by Praveen K. Lakkisetti

Topics: Vocations

President of CRS addresses Assumption Seminary Centennial Civic Luncheon

Dr. Carolyn Woo, CEO and president of Catholic Relief Services, addressed the Assumption Seminary Centennial Civic Luncheon, a gathering of generous sponsors of the seminary from all walks of life. The Nov. 19 event gathering began with words of welcome by Michael Belz, president of Catholic Life Insurance. He invited the guests to join and celebrate the joy of Assumption Seminary in its centennial year. He thanked the guests for being present to witness and thank God for the hundred years of Assumption Seminary’s journey in forming men for the priesthood.

Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, invoked the blessing of God and thanked all the sponsors in sharing the mission of Assumption Seminary through their generous efforts as faithful and responsible Christians. He expressed appreciation for their witness-filled Christian life that enhances vocations to the priesthood. With special reference to the Catholic parishes present for the luncheon, Archbishop Gustavo commended their efforts and appreciation in supporting Assumption seminary through prayer and stewardship.

In his acknowledgements, Father David Garcia, director of the Old Spanish Missions, expressed his appreciation for the collective efforts of sponsors in fulfilling the mission of Assumption. He narrated the legacy of Assumption Seminary and its expansion that was realized with the collaboration of many generous sponsors from all fields of life. He recalled his tenure as rector of the seminary as one of collaborative joyful service in preparing men for priesthood in today’s church.

In her address, Dr. Woo enumerated the mission of CRS in the world and it’s Catholic Identity in vision and mission. She expressed her joy at being invited to address Assumption Seminary’s Centennial Celebration.

Before becoming president of CRS, Dr. Woo was the dean of the College of Business at Notre Dame University, which is noted for its excellent emphasis on business ethics in a world of changing values. True to her responsibility as CEO and president, she connected the threads of business with formation to priesthood in the seminary. Explaining the working mechanisms of the corporate world of business and their life span, she laid out the strategies for carrying out the mission of Christ through seminary formation. Recalling her expertise and experience as an entrepreneur, she highlighted the desperate need to be Christ’s witnesses in the world. Drawing on her wisdom of Catholic faith tradition, she emphasized the need for manifesting the love of God here and now in the world. She noted that the Catholic mission in the world is fruitful because of the value-based services that are rendered to people of all faiths.

Referring to the strategies of success for a corporate firm, she highlighted the aspects of profound humility, passionate zeal and uncompromised commitment to the cause of the mission -- a cause greater than one’s self. Addressing the contemporary global concerns, Dr Woo stressed the need for the proclamation of the Word of God to the hungry, thirsty and to those in most need. She expressed her desire to see seminaries nurture in the young candidates to priesthood, a passionate zeal for serving the needy in the world. She noted that long term goals are to be streamlined with intense planning and a sense of mission with an economic use of the available resources. Her talk was both inspiring and challenging as it touched upon some of the pressing concerns of the world and the Church’s response.

At the conclusion of the luncheon, Father Jeff Pehl, the present rector of Assumption Seminary, thanked all the guests for being present to share in the centennial joy of the seminary, its mission and its many dreams. On behalf of the seminary, he honored Dr. Woo for being present on this occasion and for her witness-filled mission in the world.

Praveen K. Lakkisetti is a seminarian for the Diocese of San Angelo studying at Assumption Seminary.