P: Bryan, tell us about first of all yourself and where you go to seminary
and a little bit about Seminarians for Life.
B: Sure Father. I go to Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland and
I am in my second year of Theology, and I am studying for the Diocese of
Arlington, Virginia. And I have been the President of Seminarians for Life for
about the last 2 years. And Seminarians for Life was actually started in the
early 70’s, by some of our priests and seminarians. But then it kind of died out
for a little bit, and then funding came back in the early 80’s, and it has been
in existence since then.
P: "Seminarians for Life" is a title which sometimes can lead to the same
question some ask when they hear "Priests for Life", namely, Isn't every
seminarian for life? How do you answer that question?
B: Well I say certainly they should all be seminarians for life. It should be
at the core of who we are as seminarians and as future priests. But at times
there is that danger when you are in a seminary to get caught up with your
theological studies and to see the pro-life issue as a side thing. So we started
this organization and continue it to bring the awareness that this should be at
the core of our ministry and the core of the priesthood, because everything else
follows from the Right to Life. If a person doesn’t come into existence, then
nothing else matters. So we think it is very essential. The Holy Father has
mentioned the battle of the Culture of Death.
P: How does a seminarian become a member of this association and if he does
B: Well, he could contact us at the seminary. What they do is join the local
chapters. There are usually different groups around the world. We have about
25,000 seminarians in 81 countries right now. Sometimes there are just single
seminarians around the world, but basically what we are trying to do is bring
everybody together to show that they are not alone… that there are people out
there that are convicted for Life and to fight for Life. We try to share
resources and talk about what goes on in our different regions, and what works
on a practical level and what doesn’t. They do that by correspondence, and we
have a newsletter that we put out four times a year. There is an Internet
website that we also use, and we have conferences and things of that nature.
P: Do you find that the seminarians today already have some kind of
background in pro-life activity by the time that they enter the seminary or do
you find the Seminarians for Life is introducing a lot of the seminarians to
this kind of activity for the first time?
B: I think it is a little of both. I use to go to an abortion mill in
Virginia where I was a computer programmer and so I was already very convicted
in the pro-life movement…and got actually more convicted once I got into the
seminary. Others get exposed to it for the first time by our newsletter, and
they realize, wow, this is helpful. They see it as a very important thing for
their ministry in the future, for the priesthood, and even for the current
P: How does a Seminarians for Life member integrate the activities of this
association with the obligations he already has with prayer life and study and
other activities of the seminary? How does all of that work?
B: It is all a balance. And you try to find what you can do for yourself.
We’ll go out in front of the abortion mill on Saturday morning and to pray and
to try to counsel, and to talk to the women who are coming in and thinking about
taking the life of their child. Also you can pray and have little prayer groups
in your seminary. Little groups can get together maybe once a month. You always
have spare time, and you can utilize that spare time instead of sitting in front
of the TV or other ways of leisure. Utilize this time of leisure for actually
saving the children.
P: Now a seminarian can join this association even though in his seminary
there may not be a formal chapter of Seminarians for Life, is that right?
B: Oh most definitely. And we encourage that. We can help that seminarian
with different resources that are out there, and maybe he has some good advice
for us that we can share with the rest of the people. So it is all about
building a strong network, a unified network of brothers pursuing the same cause
and promoting the Gospel of Life.
P: Where would you say that Seminarians for Life as individual seminarians
draw most of their inspiration for their engagement now in the pro-life battle?
B: One is experiencing the battle itself. Over Christmas I was at an abortion
mill outside Brooklyn, New York. Intellectually, you know that these things go
on, but there outside the mill, that day I watched 13 children get saved. And I
watched 17 children die that day. I watched the women come in and watched them
come out with the brown bags. And I realized.. wow.. that child died right
inside here and we need to do something about this.
P: Tell me for a second, for those who do not understand about the brown
B: Right. Oh the brown bags are the medication that the women are given once
they have the abortion for any left over effects or things of that nature… if it
is a botched abortion or if there are still different things going on in there.
P: Right. So one of the sources of inspiration in other words is the direct
experience of the battle?
B: Right. It is the direct experience of the battle. …..