November, 2020 | Parish Happenings
Scenes from the Seminary!
It has been great to be back in seminary so far this semester. Like many things in the past seven months, I have learned this is something I can take for granted. As you may have heard from many students recently, education through a computer can be rather difficult. In seminary we are not in just an education program, rather, a formation program. We all learned that remote formation is not ideal since formation really encompasses how we live our daily lives. A huge part of that is the relationships we have with priests and our brother seminarians. But just like the rest of the world, we managed to adapt back in the spring. But I am sure glad to be back with the priests and my brother seminarians, even if it is while wearing masks.
This year is very unique for me as I am enrolled in the Spiritual Year. The Spiritual Year is rather different from all other years of formation in seminary. It is basically a year-long retreat. This year I am actually not even at St. Charles, rather, a satellite campus on the grounds of St. Matthew’s Parish in Conshohocken. The year is really focused on growing in my relationship with God in my interior life and growing in fraternity with my classmates in my exterior life. Part of this year includes reading the Bible and Catechism as a class in their entirety. There is also a freedom from academic work which clears time for us to have lectures on a variety of topics which we would normally not be able to cover at St. Charles.
Another important aspect of the year is a media fast and a commerce fast. A media fast includes no use of cell phones, computers, TVs, newspapers, etc. for six days a week. A commerce fast includes not buying anything also six days a week. When someone hears these things they might sound very restrictive and difficult to follow. Quite frankly, coming from a generation absorbed by media and always being “on the go,” I will admit it was difficult at first. But really there is a freedom from observing these fasts. I have come to realize how distracting those things can be in the life of a priest (and anyone). Eliminating those distractions has also given me much more time to read, pray, and reflect which are very important in the life of a Catholic.
I hope to fill you in on my life more in the next couple of issues of News from the Pews. I have an exciting year ahead of me! Please continue to keep me in prayer and I will see you around the parish.