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The Florida Catholic

A Retreat is Not a Vacation: Local seminarian reflects on the Annual Seminarian Retreat at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, Jan. 10-16


As I left the parish where I am assigned, St. Ann Church in West Palm Beach, many parishioners and people told me, “Enjoy your vacation.” I told them, “I am not going on vacation, I am going on retreat.” All seminarians and priests make a retreat once a year for approximately one week. The purpose of a which is to take time to be pulled out of our ordinary circumstances and daily routine, which can leave us in our own world with our own projects and plans.

In order to understand how a retreat is different from ordinary life, one has to imagine leaving the world behind and being alone with God. At the retreat center where I stayed, I woke up every day to a real alarm clock and not a phone. Being in this environment allowed me to experience complete silence. You can only hear the birds, your own footsteps, and the sounds of nature. Since there is no one to talk to or anywhere to go early in the morning, I prayed in silence in front of the Blessed Sacrament. This gave me the opportunity to bring all of my desires, problems, and cares to God. I was able to center my life on the Mass, which became the big event of the day.

To read the full Florida Catholic Media article, click here.