In the seminary, from 1933-35, I studied philosophy.
We got “calls” in the seminary. Our names were called out in the chapel. We each got a little envelope that told us whether we went ahead and were promoted or had to leave. If you were out, it would say “Vide Rectorum”, in other words, “See the Rector” – you knew you were in trouble and it meant that he was going to kick you out of the seminary.
“Ad Primum Tonsuram” was “To the First Tonsure” which was a minor order. These were abolished in the present rite. I received this call in 1935. In Quebec, when you got the first tonsure, you had a bald circle on the top of your head, and when you went out to get a haircut at a barber shop, they paid 10 cents extra to get the tonsure cut. We did not have to have that in Ontario. The Archbishop here, with a big smile on his face, would just cut a little hair off the sides and the top.
“Ad Ordines Ostiarii et Lectores” was a minor order to be a gatekeeper and lector. This came after the first tonsure. I received this in first year theology in 1935. We didn’t actually physically open a gate, but doorkeeper was an order from the early church.
This call card was given to me when I was being promoted to ordination to the minor orders of exorcist and acolyte. This was a step towards the priesthood. You took on a different role than altar boy in the liturgy.
“Ad Subdiaconatum” was to be a subdeacon and this came in June of 1938. Back then, you made a lifetime vow of chastity, unless you were later dispensed. We were only a subdeacon for three months. At a solemn high Mass there was a deacon and a subdeacon. They were usually priests.
The deaconate was in your last year of the seminary. I was ordained a deacon in September of 1938. They had a special table in the seminary. The deacons were scattered through the seminary and were more or less the watch dogs for the different years. If you entered another seminarian’s room you were kicked out. You could go to a deacons’s door with your request.
I received the call card “Ad Presbyteratum” a few months before my ordination “To the Priesthood” in June of 1939.