On the evening of January 15, the deacons in the seminary Class of 2014 returned from a nearly three week pilgrimage to the Holy Land. This year marked the third consecutive year that the fourth year men spent the majority of their Christmas break in the land where Christ Himself lived. Once again the group was accompanied by the seminary rector, Msgr. Steven P. Rohlfs, along with the esteemed scripture scholar and Mount professor, Dr. Steven Smith. 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 were privileged to make their five day canonical retreat in anticipation of the reception of priestly ordination this upcoming spring or summer. As has also become a custom, the 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 15. 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 as well as simply having the opportunity to experience the culture and geography of the area where Jesus lived and carried out his ministry.