Throughout the year the Vocation Office here at the Seminary hosts events for men discerning the call to the priesthood to get a look of what seminary life looks like. One of the most common reflections of the men who visit are “how normal the seminarians are.” I guess many people see the seminary as a priest factory which brainwashes young men with Jesus. Well, that’s not exactly the case. The truth is we like to have fun just as much as anyone else our age. Part of our formation as priests is human formation, including an emphasis on doing the things that we love for leisure. Including leisure activities into our schedule is so important to be happy seminarians and future priests.
Sports are huge here at the seminary as I am sure you can imagine. Other than Christ and the Church it is probably the most talked about thing here, especially during football season. We are blessed here at the seminary to have a full basketball gym, gym equipment, a soccer field, a football field, a softball field, outdoor tennis courts, and a weight and cardio room.
A great way to build fraternity amongst seminarians is through sports. During the fall the entire seminary participates in a seminary volleyball league. In the spring likewise we organize a basketball league known as the OBA (Overbrook Basketball Association). Both leagues are played on Wednesday nights so that we can all play and watch each other’s games (We do not have class on Thursday). We also have different events throughout the year as well that aren’t part of our leagues. On the feast of Saint Charles Borromeo, we have a theology vs. college football game. It is always the most anticipated game of the year. Much time is spent practicing for the great rivalry. In the spring we host the “Cassock Classic.” This is an ultimate frisbee tournament in which the seminarians invite other college students to play in the tournament. This is always a great opportunity for us to show the seminary and build friendships with our peers.
As part of the Vocation Office, the seminarians play in the vocation basketball outreach program. Throughout the year we go to parishes in the Archdiocese and play high school CYO teams in basketball. We also talk about our vocation stories and the seminary with the hope of inspiring other young men. I have the honor of being the mascot, the Borromeo Bear, for this program which is a lot of fun.
Please continue to pray for vocations especially here in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Also, wish my OBA team, “Tantum Airball” some luck during our basketball season.
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