The Church celebrates National Vocation Awareness Week this year from November 5-11. According to the USCCB, it is “an annual week-long celebration of the Catholic Church in the United States dedicated to promote vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life through prayer and education, and to renew our prayers and support for those who are considering one of these particular vocations.” In order to learn more about vocations and discernment, the Catholic Apostolate Center reached out to men currently in formation and asked them the following three questions: What were you doing before formation? What are you doing now? And what has this transition been like? Below are their answers about the transition from the collegiate atmosphere into formation for the priesthood and/or Consecrated life.
What were you doing before formation?
Before I entered seminary, I attended The Catholic University of America for two years, where I majored in Philosophy. I like to think that I was your average college student. I was a Resident Assistant my sophomore year; I was involved in the Knights of Columbus; I held a few on-campus jobs. I had a close group of friends who would go to daily Mass together, as well pray the rosary and spend time in Washington, D.C. I tried to be as active in college as I could.
What are you doing now?
I am in “College IV,” which is the equivalent to being a senior, at the Saint John Fisher Seminary program for the Diocese of Bridgeport. This is currently my second year in formation. I am working towards my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from Sacred Heart University (SHU). I live with seven other men in the diocesan formation program. Our daily schedule begins with a Holy Hour in the morning, followed by Holy Mass and breakfast. We have classes throughout the day, some at SHU, some at the seminary. In the evening we gather for prayer and dinner. After graduation in May, I will be going to a Major Seminary to begin my four years of Theology Studies.
What has this transition been like?
Like any major life change, the transition into seminary formation has had its challenges. It was very hard to leave the community I was involved in at CUA. However, seminary is not something you do on your own. I learned the importance of fraternity through my involvement with the CUA Knights, and seminary formation deepened this fraternity. After adjusting to the daily schedule, and better understanding what it really means to give my life for Christ, the transition into seminary became less challenging. I have had no regrets from transferring into seminary in the middle of my undergraduate career. The transition from college into seminary, as hard as it was, taught me how important it is to trust in God’s plan, and how much joy and peace listening to Him will bring to our lives.
To learn more about Vocational Discernment, please visit our Vocational Discernment Resource Page.