The following comes from a story dated Feb. 28 in Catholic San Francisco.
St. Patrick’s Seminary & University in conjunction with its partner dioceses, hosted a weekend discernment retreat for priestly vocations Jan. 18-20 providing “a quiet and prayerful environment” for men to think and talk about the priestly vocation, the seminary said. There were 22 participants ranging in age from 18-46 with varying degrees of educational experience from high school only to completed bachelor’s degrees. The men came from the dioceses of Oakland, Portland, Sacramento, Spokane, and Stockton, with nine from the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
Auxiliary Bishop Robert F. Christian, OP, seminary president and rector, welcomed the discerners with a brief reflection during the weekend’s opening evening prayer and led grace at mealtime. Activities for the participants included formal conferences, an interactive seminarian panel, small group discussions, and meals with priests and seminarians. The liturgical activities during the retreat mirrored the daily liturgical life of seminarians, including morning and evening prayer, Mass, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and opportunities for confession. During a seminarian panel, current seminarians provided insight into their lives and answered questions. Discerners asked questions about the formation process, the details of affiliation with a diocese, how seminarians come to peace with the discipline of clerical celibacy, and how and when they “know” that the priesthood is right for them. The seminarians’ testimonies were among some of the most memorable moments for the discerners, the seminary reported.