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Retreat and Refocus

by Perrin Atisha

Every year after midterm examinations, the college seminarians take a weekend of spiritual reflection, called Days of Recollection.

The weekend is split up by class and each class goes to a different retreat house. A priest from the formation team or a spiritual director accompanies the men.

The purpose of these days of recollection is to take time for silence, prayer, and conversation with Christ after the stress and hectic week of exams. Along with the times of prayer and silence come time for fraternity and even some fun. Most of the retreat houses are located out in the country where there are trails and hiking opportunities, and some houses even have lake access.

This year, the first and second-year college men went to Subiaco Retreat House in Oxford with Fr. Mathias Thelen. The first-year philosophy men spent the weekend at the Maryville Retreat Center in Holly with Fr. Jim Kean, while the second-year philosophy men reflected at De Sales Center in Brooklyn with Fr. Ryan Ford.

Ryan Eggenberger, seminarian for the Archdiocese of Detroit, is in his last year of college. He spent the weekend at De Sales Center.

Our annual Days of Recollection provides each man with an opportunity to take a timeout with help of the Holy Spirit, Ryan says. With his brothers and a spiritual director, he can look back over the first half of the semester and see how God has guided him, where the man is responding to God's grace, and in what ways he can do better in the second half of the semester.

For several seminarians, the quiet, the time away with the Lord, and their class, Ryan says, becomes one of their favorite weekends of the year.

Chris Finneman, seminarian for the Diocese of Fargo, is in his first year of seminary here at the Heart. He tells us of his retreat experience. The days of recollection was so life-giving because it gave us an opportunity to refocus on giving our hearts to Christ. The weekend reminds us of God's goodness and cultivates a real fraternal bond between seminarians.

We are blessed here at Sacred Heart to have many different opportunities for prayer, reflection, fraternity, and brotherhood. The Days of Recollection experience is just one of those welcome and faith-building opportunities.

Perrin Atisha

Perrin Atisha is a third-year theologian studying for the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle.

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.