The following are reflections from our young men, who attended Bishop DiMarzio’s Vocation Retreat over the weekend of March 24th. Hosted at Douglaston, these men for greatness received insight from their Bishop, alumni seminarians of Cathedral Prep, and other men discerning God’s Call.
“This past weekend, I went on the Bishop’s Vocations Retreat. Led by Bishop Dimarzio and former Cathedral Prep graduate, Fr. Sean Suckiel, ’03, approximately 30 people were on the retreat, but only around 15 were there for the entire weekend. Each day, we prayed the Divine Office (Morning and Evening Prayer). We also heard talks from Bishop DiMarzio on topics such as the sacraments and the challenges facing the Catholic Church today. There were talks from seminarians, including former Cathedral Prep graduates Brendon Harfmann, `12, and Michael Falce, ’10. Every night, there was a social which encouraged the fraternity among all the discerners. On Sunday morning, we gathered for Mass, Morning Prayer, and brunch with the seminarians who live at the Residence. Throughout the weekend, we grew in faith as we prayed together and discerned the possibility of the priesthood.”
~ Aidan Birth, ’17
“The Bishop’s retreat was a great experience. This time helped me realize that the Lord is always providing for us, especially when 30 men openly take time out of their schedules to pray, reflect, and discern the priesthood. It was nice to see that I am not alone, that there are others in Brooklyn and Queens who have this feeling that God might be calling them to serve as a priest. Bishop Dimarzio shared words of inspiration with us and personally met with each man so he could get to know us. It was a great experience to have a chance to pray not just with those on the retreat with us, but also with the seminary community. Being able to experience the seminary on a Sunday was something that will stick with me for years.”
~ Stephen Jankowski, ’18
“The retreat with the Bishop was very beneficial for me. Not only did it help me to further understand the meaning of the priesthood and priestly life, but it also helped me meet and and learn about other men, who are discerning the priesthood already in the seminary. The Liturgy of the Hours and talks given by Bishop DiMarzio were very helpful in my understanding of the different complexities of a priest’s life. The social hours helped me to see what other discerners, like myself, were thinking. Talking to the seminarians helped me relax and see that I don’t need to rush anything: if God wants me to be a priest then it will be clear to me; all I need to do is pray about it and explore the possibility.”
~Fernando Ronconi, ’18