After a three week Christmas break, the seminarians returned well rested in time for the annual mid-year silent retreat held January 6-10 at the seminary. The retreat master was former seminary vice-rector, Fr. Brett Brannen, who completed his six year tenure as vice-rector following the 2010-2011 academic year.
A 1994 graduate of Mount St. Mary’s, Fr. Brannen has served in numerous parishes in his diocese of Savannah, GA and is now the pastor at Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Savannah. During his term as vice-rector, he authored the book To Save a Thousand Souls which has been invaluable in assisting countless men in their vocational discernment. Fr. Brannen is also a skilled retreat master, having vast experience in offering various types of retreats and parish missions to a wide range of groups.
In the Mount’s retreat, Fr. Brannen held two conferences each day on various topics relevant to seminary life and the seminarian’s future priestly ministry. Aside from the conferences, strict silence was maintained throughout the week with the exception of the daily sacrifice of the Mass and the celebration of Morning and Evening Prayer. The silent nature of the retreat allowed the seminarians to enter into the desert with the Lord. At the conclusion of the retreat, the community welcomed one new seminarian who will be beginning formation and philosophical studies in the pre-theology program from the Diocese of Colorado Springs. Another man from the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend is returning to the seminary in the class of 1st theology after spending a year away.