Here at St. Patrick's, we just concluded a tour of the seminary for the youth group and vocations team of St. Basil the Great parish in Vallejo. I told some of the guys about this blog so hopefully there will be an increase in traffic :) I don't think of myself as particularly eloquent, but if the Lord sees fit to inspire even one vocation through our little project here then I will be overjoyed at His goodness and generosity.
We took the kids on a whirlwind tour of the seminary grounds - they had a schedule to keep so unfortunately we weren't able to take as much time as I would have liked, but it was a wonderful experience nonetheless. We concluded with a panel discussion in the Main Chapel where Sister Manuela of the Oblate Sisters of Jesus the Priest (thank you for all that you do Sister!), Seminarian Joe Peacock of the Diocese of Reno, Seminarian Richard Kidd of the Archdiocese of Agana, Guam, and Fr. Brian Atienza, the Sacramento Vocations Director, answered questions from the youths. My personal favorite was, "What do you guys do all day?" Our day begins with Morning Prayer in common, followed by Mass, breakfast, classes until 12:30, and then lunch. Most days of the week classes are over by lunch. Wednesday is my "long day" because I have classes until 3 pm. Otherwise we have free time to study, do homework, exercise, pray, or run personal errands until Evening Prayer at 5:10 pm. Then it's dinner at 6, followed by more free time until bed.
Richard mentioned having to break the news to his then girlfriend that he intended to go to the seminary. I too had to do that: I had to tell the wonderful woman whom I had been dating for years that I did not feel God called me to marriage but to serve Him and His people as a priest. I won't lie - it was hard for the both of us. But one year later I still feel I made the right decision, and she has begun seeing someone new and is 100% supportive of me. God won't be outdone by anyone in generosity. If you give up a lot for His sake, He'll give you abundant graces in return that will more than make up for it.
If any of you ever read this, thank you all so much for coming and giving us the opportunity to tell you a little about our home!