Books on a desk

Authored by Jonas Verdeflor

The past few days, my fellow seminarians and I have relaxed after the crush of finals.  You know that school is over when the window sill in the classroom is full of returned textbooks.  To celebrate on Friday, many of us saw the movie “Captain America: Civil War” and our friend Alex treated us to milkshakes.  I tried to soak in these moments with my religious brothers before we drifted off to vacation, summer assignments or a different path in life.

One of my goals this school year is 100 percent participation on the blog.  This spring semester, every seminarian submitted an entry for his scheduled week.  This was atop a busy schedule of classes, apostolates, prayers, liturgical responsibilities and formation meetings.  Thank you, guys, for sharing.

Here are my five memorable things from this school year:

Pope Francis in Philadelphia: Who would miss this opportunity? Hearing the pope speak at two events was a powerful connection to the Chair of Peter.  We all made new friends in the city. Plus, how often do you see a seminarian in a tree?

A heart-felt sharing: In front of fire in a cabin in Vermont, I opened up to my fellow seminarians about my painful family history. It amazed me how much they began to share their family history.  Community life means opening our hearts and supporting each other.

Seal on the beach

A seal on the beach: This baby seal made this surprise visit on the beach during our retreat in Biddeford, Maine, in August. God brought us the beauty and vulnerability of creation that day.

Understanding through discord: Sometimes, in community, we rub one another the wrong way. A few blowups occurred leading up to finals.  I admire my formator, Father Tom Carzon, OMV, for providing a calm environment for an open discussion.  When things break, healing and understanding come.  It doesn’t resolve everything completely.  But it’s a start.

Thanksgiving weekend in New York: Two worlds merge when I brought my fellow postulants to my old neighborhood and my family. I enjoyed giving them a tour and sharing stories.

Right now, I’m packing up my stuff before my summer vacation.  I will have a few road trips with my family.  On Aug. 1, I will enter the novitiate.  I look forward to the year-long break from classes and to the opportunity to grow deeper in my love for Jesus and Mary and appreciation for the charism of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary.

May God bless you throughout this summer.

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