Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology Celebrates Advent with Successful Debut of New Series  

Yet another Advent season is upon the Seton Hall University community. For Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology (ICSST), this Advent is particularly special as it brought the launch of an exciting new initiative that continues to gain momentum.

On December 1, ICSST debuted its Advent Video Reflection Series. Subscribers to the series receive an e-mail each day of Advent with a link to a brief video reflection on that day's reading, offered by a member of the School's faculty and administration.

Monsignor Joseph Reilly, Rector/Dean of ICSST, provided the first reflection of the series. Additional faculty and administrators participating in the series include Associate Deans Dianne Traflet and Sister Maria Pascuzzi; Professors Jeffrey Morrow and Gregory Glazov; Associate Professors Monsignor Gerard McCarren, Eric Johnston, Justin Anderson and Joseph Rice; Assistant Professors Reverend Joseph Laracy, Patrick Manning and Timothy Fortin; and Associate Spiritual Directors Reverend William McDonald and Reverend Mariusz Koch.

The University's metrics indicate that the series is off to a promising start. More than 500 people from within and outside the University have subscribed to the series. The Video Reflections page has generated 1,500 visits, and visitors to the page are spending, on average, 13 minutes there. Additionally, more than half of these visitors have opted to learn more about the School of Theology by clicking on the links in the page’s header, leading to other pages on the Theology website.

Nativity scene statues"This series was designed to offer spiritual nourishment for the Advent season and was created through the collaborative gifts and talents of the ICSST community. Michael Burt, Senior Director of Seminary Advancement, filmed the series; Thomas Palanza, seminarian of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, served as video editor; and the background music was performed by seminarians Matthew Gonzalez and Ju Huyn (Andrew) Lee of the Archdiocese of Newark," says Diane Carr, Coordinator of Graduate and International Services, who spearheaded the initiative.

"Our hope for the Advent series was to invite participants into a deeper appreciation of this Holy Season and to introduce and highlight some of our wonderful colleagues here at ICSST," says Monsignor Reilly." As Pope Francis often reminds us: 'Be ready for the ways God surprises us!' The response to our Advent Series was one of those uplifting and unexpected moments. I pray these reflections continue to be a gift for all who participate."

Those who haven't yet subscribed to the series may do so here »

Immaculate Conception Seminary is a House of Formation for the Roman Catholic priesthood and the School of Theology of Seton Hall University. Forming priests for God's people has remained the Seminary's constant focus, and the Seminary faculty – well-educated authors and scholars in their own fields – devote their time and energy to preparing these men for priesthood amidst the challenges of the 21st century. The School also focuses on the education of lay men and women in theology, permanent deacons, religious who are not studying for ordination, and already-ordained priests – not only providing for them academically, but also for their personal, pastoral and spiritual formation.