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On Mary’s Mountain

  The Daily Life of The Seminary Community
   Date: Jan 2012

This past week the Mount community participated in the annual March for Life in Washington, DC. The seminarians joined hundreds of thousands of Americans gathered to protest the culture of death on the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. As in previous years, a number of seminarians traveled to the nation’s capitol on Sunday night to join in the 33rd annual National Prayer Vigil for Life which began with a Mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The next morning most of the seminary gathered for a Youth Rally and Mass celebrated by Donald Cardinal Wuerl held at Washington’s Verizon Center. Those not at the Verizon Center were a part of the schola which sang at a Mass held simultaneously at the D.C. Armory and celebrated by Cardinal DiNardo.

After the Masses, the seminarians made their way to the National Mall where they marched up Constitution Avenue past the National Capitol before turning south on 1st Street where the March concluded in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building.

During Christmas break, sixteen fourth year men spent seventeen days in the Holy Land on pilgrimage and retreat along with seminary rector Msgr. Steven Rohlfs, scripture professor Dr. Steven Smith, and John Williams, the seminary’s coordinator of pastoral activity. After departing on December 28, the men spent the first week of the trip in Nazareth, touring various sites throughout Galilee while also traveling to Mount Carmel. Next, the group made their way to the Sea of Galilee where they had a five day canonical retreat in anticipation of the reception of Holy Orders in the Spring. Their retreat was led by Fr. Eamon Kelly, L.C. at the Pilgerhaus Retreat Center. At the retreat’s conclusion, the men next traveled to Jerusalem where they spent the last week of the trip before returning to the United States on January 14. Of the numerous highlights of the pilgrimage, all of the men agreed that the night spent in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was one of the most memorable and grace-filled experiences of the journey. The trip marked the first time the deacon class has had the opportunity to make their canonical retreat in the Holy Land, and the seminary is hoping that it will soon become a tradition to which each class may look forward as they approach Holy Orders.

After a three week Christmas break, the seminarians returned well rested in time for the annual mid-year silent retreat held January 9-13 at the seminary. The Most Reverend William E. Lori, bishop of Bridgeport, a 1977 graduate of Mount St. Mary’s, returned to his mountain home to be the retreat master.

Bishop Lori held two conferences each day on the topic of the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary which were introduced by Pope John Paul II ten years ago in 2002. Aside from the liturgies and the conferences, strict silence was maintained throughout the week to allow the seminarians to enter into the desert with the Lord. At the conclusion of the retreat, the community welcomed two new seminarians from the Dioceses of Wichita and St. Augustine

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