The third area to which Archbishop Roach referred as particularly noteworthy in the priests who have come from our Seminary, is that of "Administration." That's a very broad word. But every member of a parish staff, everyone who has attended his or her 165th parish meeting, everyone who has bought additional Tylenol in worrying about the retirement of a huge debt or the repair of a gutter, who has comforted the tears of those who mourn and calmed the anger of those who rage; who has looked into the future, and responded to its needs in the present, such know that "Administration" covers like an umbrella a whole range of possible priestly activity.
Sometimes on a tiny scale, sometimes on a huge one. The one here is huge - and impressive. The third Recipient of our praise and honor began, prosaically enough, in the postwar uncertainties of the 1940's, as a candidate for a degree in Library Science. But that turned out to be largely an avocation. More importantly, our Recipient 's obvious gifts of articulation, and spiritual insight, and sensitivity to human relations, brought him the appointment of Spiritual Director to the Nazareth Hall Preparatory Seminary for a full fourteen years! His influence during that decade and a half has formed, deeply and well, perhaps half of our priests now living.
But those qualities of sensitivity and insight and deft dealing with people brought our recipient to an equally influential position - which might never have occurred to you. The principal church of an Archdiocese is its Cathedral (and incidentally, it's been said seriously that ours is one of the five outstanding ones of the United States). This Recipient was appointed to administer THAT. And that's quite a package. Life at a Cathedral is largely unlike that of any other Church you will know: originally in sheer size and volume, and then in the grandeur of its ceremony. And correlative to all this, the grandeur of its bank account or its indebtedness.
But above all this, was and is a further ingredient. Traditionally, outstanding candidates for priesthood and then ministry have been assigned to the Cathedral. This third Recipient served truly as a skilled, gentle, forceful, wise mentor, to a stream of outstanding young priests who had been fortunate enough to have received assignment there. Father Michael Arms was one of them.
Another of this distinguished Recipient's skills lay in precisely that one area of need: the bank account. This esteemed priest had, we know not where from, more than ordinary skills in financial judgement. He was called upon early and often and lengthily in most of the major financial transactions of the Archdiocese - from acquisition of endless acres of land, to the formation of a huge and free-standing monetary endowment to take care of his Cathedral (presumably perpetually).
The third recipient has given of all these formidable skills to this Archdiocese for fifty years - in depth, and without stint, and with authentic wisdom. The monuments of his gifts lie all around him - in people, in buildings, in resources - and most of all, deep within the texture of the many souls he has touched. It is we who are honored, in honoring: MONSIGNOR AMBROSE HAYDEN.
(Text adapted from the St. Paul Seminary, School of Divinity alumni newsletter.)