Over the weekend of October 16, 17, and 18, I had the privilege of attending the “Come and See” Retreat at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, Pa. From the moment I walked in the doors to the moment I left on Sunday evening, I felt extremely welcomed and part of a new family. It was so great to meet the other 19 “retreatants” coming from the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh and the Eparchies of Passaic, Parma, and Phoenix. Together, we found ourselves in deep prayer throughout the weekend and also had many opportunities to speak candidly with the current seminarians about their journey.
Now a senior in college, I have considered the priesthood since my youth, and being able to hear the different stories and perspectives of the seminarians was very helpful for my own discernment. Of course, we also had time for recreation, when we enjoyed some friendly competition during an exciting game of bowling complemented with ice cream.
One of my favorite parts of the retreat was visiting local Byzantine parishes for Sunday Liturgy with our respective Seminarian Mentors. During my visit to St. Stephen Byzantine Catholic Church in North Huntingdon, I was able to further experience life as a seminarian and priest through teaching, worship, and service to the community. I feel so blessed to have had this Come and See experience and I look forward to continuing my discernment through prayer and conversation with the seminarians.