[:: edit:: -- so what's up with the anonymous comment on this post that Steve is not and will not be in seminary? ::]
So the big finale was tonight. But first: Pro Ecclesia has a round-up of blogs commenting on the show, with a mixed review himself (yours truly is linked from there too!). And Amy's just weighed in as well. My initia review from last week is below.
At the beginning of the episode (again, watched with several students), I felt a little antsy as they repeated clips from the previous episode. I guess they might have anticipated viewers tuning in who might not have caught the first four episodes ... and/or that this helped the build up to the announcement about The Decision.
This was probably the weakest part of the show -- this idea that somehow this is a Final Decision, with no turning back. Contradicted right away by one of the guys (Dan) deciding not to decide, and to continue college studies and youth ministry for the time being. It's not a Final Decision -- as others have mentioned, even the decision to enter seminary is hardly final. People can (and so often do) change their minds. It's a tough process!
All those are quibbles however. Overall, as I said before, it's good to see the Catholic faith being treated with such respect and seriousness. I'll be getting the DVD for the local campus ministry to use as a resource. I hope our Diocese uses it as well in some way.
I loved the six month follow up -- showing each of them in their different occupations, all with some sense of peace, and of having listened to and followed the Lord, and of this sense of life as this continual tuning in ... continual listening to His will. Nella sua volontà è la nostra pace, as Dante put it --- in His will is our peace!
[I also wondered what kind of impact, if any, participating in the production of this show had on the producers and other crew.]
And Steve? He made his announcement in front of his whole parish! Wow! What a sense of the communion of believers, of all supporting him in his journey, and praying for him! Having been there before (well, not of having made a dramatic announcement to a parish, but having said "yes" to God's call in this way already), I instantly identified with him and found myself cheering him along. I never thought I'd find myself praying for a "TV character" as I have for these four guys!
Steve's words, so profound, so true, said with such gratitude, I've found becoming my own: "If I am fortunate, God will make me a priest."
So, the biggest surprise of all, this show actually had a spiritual impact on me.