The God Squad: The Next Generation of Catholic Priests

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from TIME Magazine,

Young, energized and ready to remake the church, the next generation of Catholic priests wants to surprise you.

When 19 college guys go to Jamaica for spring break, they usually hit the bar and the beach. Not Nicholas Morrison and his friends. Their trip to Montego Bay this March was far more medieval.

Every morning they rose at 5:30 a.m. and prayed. Then they visited abandoned children with disabilities and dug an irrigation trench to protect the kids’ homes from flooding in the coming summer rains. The young men joked as they moved 100 lb. boulders without machinery, naming one rock “Happy Birthday” and another “JP2,” a nickname for Pope John Paul II. Their chosen spring-break hashtag? #SemsOnMission.

Morrison and his friends are Catholic seminarians, studying to become priests. Philosophy majors at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., they live and study at the nearby St. John Paul II Seminary, which opened six years ago to meet a growing demand from millennial men who want to join the priesthood. It has reached capacity at 50 students and is already expanding, for the second time. “The four years I have been there have been totally incredible,” says Morrison, 22, a 2017 graduate from Maryland who is headed to Rome to continue his studies. “I’m much more confident that this is something that the Lord wants me to continue to pursue.”

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