Two Holy Hours per day with time spent before the Blessed Sacrament are central. The encounter with God in the Holy Hours flows from and leads back to the celebration of the Holy Mass and is supported by the recitation of the Divine Office during Morning and Evening Prayer. There will also be time for the Rosary and private devotions.
Seminarians pray, study, work, eat meals, go to classes and seminars and retreat together. This atmosphere helps the seminarian move towards a life of Christian charity and helps to form close friendships and a mutual sense of being called to serve as brothers in Jesus’ vocation and mission as diocesan priests.
The type of intellectual study involved in the Program is spiritual and transformative. Seminarians are given at least three hours a day for personal study.
Seminarians will experience the beauty of various aspects of Catholic culture and art.
Meeting with his directee daily, the spiritual director will support the seminarian in this valuable experiential period of formation.
Fr. David Robinson, SJ: Director of Spiritual Life, Spiritual Director
Fr. Lawrence Herrera, SJ: Director of Formation Integration at St. Patrick’s Seminary
Fr. Marc Valadao, SJ: Professor of Sacred Scripture at St. Patrick’s Seminary
The First Session of the Summer Spirituality Program addresses the Church’s need for diocesan priests to be men of prayer. The summer program is rooted in deep prayer, contemplation, study of human formation, Catholic culture, and lives of doctors of the Church and the saints.
To assist in turning from the noise of the world towards God, the session includes a media fast in which the participants will give up the use of phones, television, computers, popular media, and other electronic devices for most of the week. The fast promotes a new interior freedom for silence, a stilling of the heart and mind for listening to our Lord in a growing awareness of His constant presence. The last eight days are reserved for a silent Ignatian Retreat.
Leading seminarians to a personal union with Christ is the central goal of the program. The program utilizes an experiential approach to apply the lessons of the spiritual masters, like Sts. Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Ignatius of Loyola, and others, in order to bring about a personal transformation. In this retreat environment, the seminarians seek to root themselves in the Heart of Jesus Christ.
The Second Session is open to seminarians, deacons, or priests. All participants must have completed the first summer session or have participated in at least one retreat experience of multiple days. The retreat follows the 30 Day Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
By entering into the meditative and contemplative elements of the retreat, the participant will 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.
The applicant is to write a short introduction with self-reflection (no more than one page), expressing your desire to enter into the Summer Spirituality Program and Retreat. A letter of recommendation from your vocation director or a formator is also required. Please also include whether there are any important special needs or medical conditions. Please send this application and recommendation letters to:
Fr. Lawrence Herrera, SJ
St. Patrick’s Seminary & University
320 Middlefield Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025
1st Session: May 24, 2021
2nd Session: June 14, 2021
First session is open to all STPSU and non-STPSU seminarians. Second session is also open to deacons and priests.