On Thursday, August 7th, I, along with approximately 35 other young men, arrived at St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami for the New Student Experience, a two-week new student orientation of sorts. It has been an incredible journey thus far, one in which all of the new men have begun to become acclimated with the seminary and what will be our routine for the next year.
Most of our time over the last two weeks has been spent in conferences and academic sessions, covering information on the mission of St. John’s. Primarily, the seminary is here to form us into better men so that we are able to become who God has called us to be. Our time in seminary is all about deepening our relationship with God so that we are then able to recognize the presence of Christ in others.
In order to help facilitate our ability to recognize Christ’s presence in our lives, the seminary provides a three-day retreat for the new men. This year, Monsignor John Cippel from the Diocese of St. Petersburg directed the retreat. The retreat centered around deepening our relationship with God, others, and ourselves. As we are commanded by Christ in the scriptures, love the Lord our God and our neighbors as ourselves (Mt 22: 37-38; Mk 12: 29-31; Lk 10: 27; Jn 13: 34; Dt 6: 4-5). We can only love God, others, and ourselves when we recognize the love that God has for us. Something that all of us can reflect on in the coming months.
This morning, we began classes for the semester. My course load is pretty full for the fall semester with six classes: Fundamental Ethics, Social Ethics, Greek World, Psalms in the Liturgy, Ministerial Methods, and Pre-Theology Seminar I. Please pray for all of the seminarians, that we may grow in knowledge throughout this academic year.
St. John Vianney, pray for us.