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young adult retreat @ St Vincent DePaul Seminary

January 30, 2010 1 comment

First time ever, the seminarians at St Vincent DePaul Regional Seminary in Boyton Beach, FL led a retreat open for young adult of the Palm Beach Diocese.  I heard about it through my friends on FaceBook.  It was a Spirit-filled retreat … simple schedule … 3 seminarian testimonies … deep small group discussion … Benediction & Adoration … and lots of social time.

Even though I couldn’t stay for the whole retreat, I’m grateful to have been invited and grateful to see by brother seminarians at their finest at “home.”

Hopefully, with their great turnout, they can do more events to not only reach out to the community, but keep vocations on everyone’s minds and prayers!

See the Florida Catholic article that promoted the events.

Here’s some pictures I took of their beautiful chapel on campus:

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clean heart for the old man

September 20, 2008 Leave a comment

We started a “Day of Recollection” silent retreat last night with one talk followed by a Holy Hour with Benediction, Adoration & Confession.  The leader of the retreat is Fr Oscar Alonzo, a wise religious priest who teaches at Cardinal Gibbons High School (among many other things).  Here are some notes I jotted down for reflection:

1. When plans change, take it as God’s providence.

2. “Through Him, with Him, and in Him …”

3.  Behind every great man is a great woman.

4.  Pray for a “clean heart” for the “old man.”

5.  Heart is driven by (1) power of love or (2) love of power.

6.  As we reflect on our vocational journey, identify WHO was an instrument of your vocation? 

7.  Use Scripture models: Abraham (Gen 12+), Moses (Ex 3), Isaiah (6), Jeremiah (1), and Mary (Luke 2)

Confirmation Retreat revisited

February 10, 2008 Leave a comment

Confirmation Retreat skitConfirmation Retreat skitBack at my home parish, the 8th grade Confirmation kids (some were my CCD kids from last year) had an evening of reflection as a follow-up to their 2-day Confirmation Retreat last month [my previous blog post about it].  The schedule was pretty simple.  After 6pm Mass (which I served at), pizza on the deck, a great skit (see pictures) about Jesus bridging the gap in the face of temptations, a personal witness talk by a teen, small group debrief (“What’s happened since the Retreat?”), and some large group reflections (that I couldn’t stay for) to close.  The kids definitely wanted to be there.  A great sign of their Confirmation journey.

Liga Orante + Little Flower + Big Cheese

January 19, 2008 Leave a comment

MASS – (Archbishop Favalora) — 11am Mass was a special occasion for Liga Orante, a Spanish group that supports & regularly prays for vocations.  They also presented the Archbishop with a $12,500 check for St John Vianney College Seminary (where I’m at).  Afterwards, we had lunch.  — I also served Mass as incense thurifer … not my best work

Little Flower ParishCONFIRMATION RETREAT — from 1-6pm, four of us seminarians (1 from Diocese of Orlando & 2 from St Petersburg) assisted a Confirmation retreat at Little Flower Parish in Miami (nearby).  Since the retreat was in progress since 8am, we walked in during a great talk by a young woman about chastity.  She also sang a song that she wrote at age 16 for her future husband.  [It reminded me of Rebecca St James’ song Wait For Me.]  Afterwards, talks on vocations started with a married couple, then a single woman, religious sisters and each of us seminarians shared our vocation journey to the 60+ eighth graders.  Then, visiting priest Fr Juan Carlos Paguaga (pastor of St John Bosco Parish) led an awesome adoration & benediction service that we served at.  To close the retreat, we had a lively 5pm Mass.

Big Cheese pizza, Miami, FLBig Cheese pizza, Miami, FLMIAMI SOCIAL — most of the Miami seminarians were at Immaculate Conception Parish in Hialeah.  Fr Francisco “Paco” Hernandez invited us all to their 5pm Mass and have dinner. 

BIG CHEESE — after the Confirmation Retreat, I joined some St Petersburg guys (from the retreat) at the Italian restaurant Big Cheese on a rainy evening.

Confirmation Retreat

January 12, 2008 5 comments

Today is day #2 of my parish Confirmation Retreat (it started last night) for the 8th grades of St Bernadette (both School & CCD).  Since most of the CCD kids were my students last year, I assisted with a few minor things.  The theme of the Holy Spirit was implimented with the popular LifeTeen format called “Fire & Ice” that is supposed to be a 3-day retreat, but it was a adapted to 2 long evening sessions.  Simply … it was awesome!  The parish hall was used for most activities with awesome decorations themed FIRE & ICE.  Most of the talks were done by former high school confirmandi of the parish.  The small group discussion were facilitated by peer ministers from local Archbishop McCarthy High School and the activites were a lot of fun (especially the “Human Pinata“).
Fire & Ice Confirmation Retreat @ St Bernadette Church, Hollywood, FL Fire & Ice Confirmation Retreat @ St Bernadette Church, Hollywood, FL Fire & Ice Confirmation Retreat @ St Bernadette Church, Hollywood, FL Human Pinata @ Fire & Ice Confirmation Retreat @ St Bernadette Church, Hollywood, FL Human Pinata @ Fire & Ice Confirmation Retreat @ St Bernadette Church, Hollywood, FL Human Pinata @ Fire & Ice Confirmation Retreat @ St Bernadette Church, Hollywood, FL

The end of the retreat got pretty emotional, especially with Adoration/Benediction, a video from YouTube.com (below) featuring a skit at a Christian youth conference done to the Lifehouse song “Everything” (definitely moving), an altercall & open mic sharing, but everything affirmed the Holy Spirit moving in our lives preparing to affirm their commitment to the sacrament of Confirmation.

MorningStar Renewal Center

January 3, 2008 1 comment

MorningStar Renewal Center in Miami, FLOur 4-day silent retreat was at the beautiful MorningStar Renewal Center in Miami, FL (7275 SW 124th Street).  We were 60+ seminarians (2 per room) and very comfortable.  The place is run entirely by volunteers and the food was excellent.  Here are some pictures of the facilities & grounds. 
MorningStar Retreat Center, Miami, FL - parking lot MorningStar Retreat Center, Miami, FL - Chapel MorningStar Retreat Center, Miami, FL - Dining Room MorningStar Retreat Center, Miami, FL - Dining Room  MorningStar Retreat Center, Miami, FL - Lounge MorningStar Retreat Center, Miami, FL - Overhang MorningStar Retreat Center, Miami, FL - Bedroom MorningStar Retreat Center, Miami, FL - Bedroom MorningStar Retreat Center, Miami, FL - grounds MorningStar Retreat Center, Miami, FL - grounds MorningStar Retreat Center, Miami, FL - grounds MorningStar Retreat Center, Miami, FL - grounds MorningStar Retreat Center, Miami, FL - grounds MorningStar Retreat Center, Miami, FL - grounds MorningStar Retreat Center, Miami, FL - grounds MorningStar Retreat Center, Miami, FL - grounds MorningStar Retreat Center, Miami, FL - grounds

4 day silent retreat

Tonight begins a 4 day silent retreat off-campus from the seminary at MorningStar Renewal Center in Miami.  I’ll be back Sunday afternoon.  Be blessed.  Be holy.