Seminary Life -- Recent News

While the third Theologians committed their final days of Christmas break to stud for their oral examinations in order to obtain their Masters of Divinity, the rest of the seminarians went out to various retreat centers throughout the archdiocese and embarked on a five day silent retreat.

During the Christmas break, six transitional deacons accompanied Fr. Keith Chylinski, Fr. Brian Kane, and about 20 others on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The transitional deacons were offered a reduced price, compliments of the generosity of donors. It was a tremendous opportunity for the men to prepare for ordination to the priesthood. Highlights of the trip included time at the Sea of Galilee, Mass in Nazareth, recalling the Baptism of the Lord at the Jordan River, and the Way of the Cross through Jerusalem, culminating at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The pilgrims did have some time to relax, though, enjoying St. Peter’s fish in Tiberias and floating (literally!) in the Dead Sea. The priests, deacons, and lay pilgrims all left with new friends, a lifetime of memories, and moments of encounter with the Lord in his native land. (Pictured below are St. Charles faculty and transitional deacons on the road to Emmaus and by the Sea of Galilee.)

On January 19, the entire community traveled to Washington D.C. for the 45th annual March for Life. On the morning of the march, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia hosted the 10:00am Mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Archbishop Charles Chaput celebrated the Mass, accompanied by Deacon Brandon Artman, who beautifully chanted the Gospel.

On January 26, Fr. Brian Kane led thirteen seminarians to Mundelein, Chicago for the 16th Annual Fr. Pat O’Malley Basketball Tournament. Sixteen seminaries from around the country competed, and the games were live streamed. Back at Mother Overbrook, the seminary held a watch party. While St. Charles did not bring home a trophy, the men competed well under the dual-leadership of Josh Weaver (Theology 3 – Diocese of Harrisburg) and John de Guzman (College 4 – Diocese of Raleigh). Weaver expressed his gratitude for the overwhelming support of the benefactors and seminary community who made the trip possible. Fr. Brian Kane added that intra-seminary tournaments are great platforms for fraternity among seminarians across the nation.

While January was full of exciting events, the highlight was the St. Charles community welcoming Bishop Robert Barron as a speaker for the Cardinal Foley Lecture Series. The creator of Word on Fire, Bishop Barron stirred the evangelical spirit of seminarians, faculty, and over 500 other attendees. He offered twelve points of reflection on evangelization, challenging the seminarians to explore the possible inspirations they may receive in order to be catalysts of creative evangelical efforts.

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