The summer is in full swing at St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park. That means a lots of sunshine and also our Summer Spirituality Program.
This year we did not have our First Session of the program, which is an integrated study of Catholic Prayer, Spirituality, and Culture. The First Session addresses the Church’s need for diocesan priests to be men of prayer and is rooted in deep prayer, contemplation, study of human formation, Catholic culture, and lives of doctors of the Church and the saints. Due to lingering COVID-19 restrictions in the first part of the summer, it was canceled for 2021.
However, the Second Session has been underway for several weeks and was open to seminarians, deacons, or priests. In this year's program, there are 14 men from the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the Dioceses of Boise, Buffalo, El Paso, Fresno, Honolulu, Jefferson City, Kalamazoo, Oakland, Sacramento, and Spokane.
The Second Sessions follows the 30-Day Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. By entering into the meditative and contemplative elements of the retreat, the participants come:
• to recognize the self-revealing love of God in his particular life
• to understand the nature of his call
• to deepen his unique relationship with the Lord
Each day begins with Mass and ends with Eucharistic Adoration. In the beautiful setting of St. Patrick’s seminary, the retreatant encounters a prayerful silence that quickly enters into their hearts. He also meets with a spiritual director once a day.
One of the values of our 30-Day Spiritual Exercises is that it is run by priests that uniquely understand the challenges and goals of ongoing priestly formation. The spiritual directors of the retreat are the same men who counsel St. Patrick's seminarians and alumni during the regular school year. Through our Summer Spirituality Program, attendees often can make big advancements in their ongoing priestly formation.
Please pray for these men that they can grow in their faith and fully align their wills to God's wonderful plan for their lives.