What is tonsure? In short, "it is a sacred rite instituted by the Church by which a baptized and confirmed is received into the clerical order by the shearing of his hair and the investment with the surplice. The person thus tonsured becomes a
partaker common privileges and obligations of the clerical state and is prepared for the reception of orders. The tonsure itself is not an ordination properly so called, nor a true order. It is rather a simple ascription of a person to the Divine service in such things as are common to all clerics. Historically the tonsure was not in use in the primitive Church during the age of persecution. Even later, St. Jerome (in Ezech., xliv) disapproves of clerics shaving their heads. Indeed, among the such a custom was a badge of slavery. On this very account, the shaving of the head was adopted by the monks." (The Catholic Encyclopedia)
|Still my little boy, though.... Here he is at about 6 years old...|
(In case you were envisioning our young man with a Friar Tuck style tonsure, have no worries... Fr. Philip won't have a bald top o' the head. The custom in his congregation is to take just a symbolic clip of hair. )
Daily Prayer for a Seminarian
Until his Ordination to the Priesthood
O Jesus, Eternal High Priest,
I offer You through Your Immaculate Mother Mary,
Your own Precious Blood, in all the Masses throughout the world, as petition for graces for all seminarians, Your future priests, especially for...... (Fr. Philip, Fr. Augustine, Fr. Jerome, Fr. Francis, and all their fellow seminarians at Mater Dei -- and St. Augustine -- seminaries)
Give them humility, meekness, prudence, and a burning zeal for souls. Fill their hearts with the gifts of the Holy Ghost.
Teach them to know and love the church, that they may always and everywhere speak, act, and think with her, the glorious spouse of Christ.
Teach them generosity and detachment from wordly goods; but above all, teach them to know You and to love the One and Only Eternal Priest. good Shepherd of Souls, hear this my prayer for saintly priests.