Seminarians go west for silent retreat
|New Norcia’s Abbot John Herbert OSB led the joint retreat for students from St Charle’s Seminary and Holy Spirit Seminary. Photo: CJ Millen.|
By Bridget Spinks
Nine seminarians from Holy Spirit Seminary in the Diocese of Parramatta joined local seminarians from St Charles, Guildford, for an annual silent retreat in Western Australia last month.
Holy Spirit Rector, Fr John Hogan, thought it would be a good experience for the seminarians to build a fraternal spirit while preparing for the priesthood, Monsignor Kevin Long, Rector of St Charles Seminary, told The Record.
The Bishop of Parramatta, Bishop Anthony Fisher OP, Perth Archbishop Barry Hickey and Mgr Long were supportive and agreed to the suggestion.
The silent retreat conducted by Benedictine Abbott John Herbert OSB of New Norcia consisted of community Mass, Morning and Evening Prayer, a Holy Hour and shared meal.
Abbott John led a daily morning conference, which was followed by silent reflection and the opportunity to have one-to-one chats with the Abbott.
The talks covered many topics including discernment and how to listen with the ear of the heart; humility and obedience; peace within hearts and people; prophetic witness; and the inexpressible delight of prayer.
One of the visiting seminarians from Holy Spirit Seminary, Anthony Saliba, said that he felt welcome at St Charles and that the “whole experience was fantastic”. “Abbott John is a humble and wise man whose words gave us insight and food for reflection,” he said.
Mgr Long said his seminarians had also been enriched by the presence and friendship of the Parramatta seminarians. “The interaction and fellowship between the two seminaries was a great gift for both communities,” he said, adding that further meetings are planned.
Holy Spirit Seminary: http://www.holyspiritseminary.com/New Norcia Benedictine Community: http://www.newnorcia.wa.edu.au/
This article first appeared in The Record, 11 August 2010
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