Fourth Year Seminarian DJ Suguitan, reflects on our recent annual retreat.
“Where are you up to now? Why are you still here?”
These are some of the questions that seminarians in 2nd, 3rd and 4th year reflected on and
prayed about as we gathered for our annual retreat at Pallotti College, Millgrove, 24-30
Fr Bernard McGrath, osb, a monk and Parish Priest of St Benedict’s, Arcadia, NSW led the
group. He gave two conferences a day wherein he gave points for prayer, mostly about
centering on Christ and our call to the priesthood. He filled his talks with anecdotes from
his own life as a monk and priest
The retreat is a welcome break from the routines of the seminary life. It is the same as what
Jesus invited his disciples to do after doing their work of proclaiming the Kingdom of
God, that is, to “come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” (Mk 6:31
NAB). It allows us, seminarians, to get in touch with what is happening within us and our
prayer life. It is, as it were, refuelling our tanks, in order to be more responsive to the
invitation of Jesus – to share with his life in a special way as priests.
The retreat was smooth sailing, thanks to the support of the people who worked behind
the scenes at Palloti College. The staff headed by Bill Henderson made sure that the
seminarians were well looked after for the whole week.
After the retreat, the seminarians went away for a week-long holidays before returning to
the seminary for the final stretch of the seminary year.