I have a young friend that I have known from my parish church since he was little more than a baby. As a child he was diagnosed with Asperger’s which is a high functioning subtype of Autism. This young man showed from a very early age a love for the faith and was profoundly interested in learning all he could about the faith. He subsequently developed a love for the Traditional Latin Liturgy and is fully dedicated to keeping to the 2000 year deposit of the faith. He stood out as an exemplary example of what a good server at Mass looks like: engaged, solemn, reverent and ever cognizant of doing his duties according the book.
He has largely overcome or been able to control the difficulties that accompany Asperger’s Syndrome and went to France on his own to attend college, major in French and minor in Latin. He is very good at both. So good, in fact, that he taught in France after finishing his studies. When he returned to the US he was hired this past summer for a project that required his skills in French to translate some academic texts.
After he finished this assignment, it became clear that he never lost sight of the feeling that he was being called to the priesthood. He surprised his mother when he told her that he was going to visit the Institute of Christ the King to see if that might be the place for him to study and then attend their seminary.
As is the case with many who are called to the priesthood, satan usually attacks their decision to become a priest or else erects roadblocks (stumbling blocks) to their Godly vocations. A few notables come to mind such as the Venerable Solanus Casey and Saint John Vianney, the Cure of Ars, to name but a few. This is what just occurred to my young friend who had been accepted to their pre-seminary training and then dismissed. The reason for this is unknown at this time although I believe that it is because he revealed that he had been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome as a child, although he seemed to be getting well adjusted to the routine and was sailing through the courses presented without any problems at all. The person responsible for the dismissal was the one that was informed of his condition. My suspicion, as is his mother’s to his release from the program, had to do with this fact and not to how he performed or his abilities to become a good and faithful priest which our Church is so desperate for during this present Crisis of faith that we see throughout the world in Catholicism, Christian ethics and morality.
I am thinking that this may be a test and that satan has dealt him a blow which, due to his condition, will be harder than it would be to most young men. I plan on meeting him tonight for dinner, God willing, if that becomes possible. I want to inform him of the FSSP to let him know that there are other Traditional Latin Mass Societies available.
But the thing I think he needs at this point more than anything else, is our prayer, our novenas, our rosaries and our support for this young man of exceptional holiness and faith. I pray that God will put him to work in His Vineyard. God knows we need all the willing laborers we can find at the moment. So please pour your hearts out to God for this young man, Daniel and keep him in your prayers. I thank you in advance for those willing to do this.