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The Ups and Downs of the First Semester

I can’t believe my first semester of college is done. It feels like only a month ago, my classmates and I moved into St. Andrew’s College Seminary. It’s hard to believe it was six months ago. Within those six month, I can truly say that I believe I’m where God wants me to be. However, in the College Seminary there are ups and downs in discernment and formation. Our rector, Fr. John Chadwick, always tell us “discernment is not a straight path. There are always ups and downs.” During my Christmas break, I decided to reflect on those ups and downs.

My first up, was definitely the fraternity of the seminary. My class and I felt welcomed from the very beginning by the orientation team, and then by the whole community during our fall retreat back in August. My favorite fraternal aspect is praying the Liturgy of the Hours together. There’s something special about praying the Divine Office together, especially because the Office is the universal prayer of the Church. When I say universal prayer, I mean we pray not for our sake but for the sake of the Church and her members.

My down was the academics. If there is anything my brother seminarians know, it’s that I’m not a fan of school work. I never have been. The first week of school was a challenge because adjusting form high school to college is a challenge for everyone, but I wasn’t adjusting just to college, but also to seminary, and seminary has a busy schedule. However, with prayer and support from my brothers, I look back to those times when I was worried and just laugh. There was nothing to be worried about.

After reflecting on these two aspects of my formation, I can say when you’re up, you’ll stay up and if you’re down, you’ll rise up eventually. Fr. John’s right. With discernment comes the ups and downs. Even if you are discerning whether or not to enter the seminary, you’ll experience ups and downs. When you are going through your downs, I seriously recommend that you turn to our Blessed Lord and Our Lady. They have helped me before and after I entered the seminary and have never failed me. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to your pastor and Fr. Romano because they will always be there for you as well.

Thomas Piro

Thomas Piro

1st College
Thomas Piro attends The College Seminary of the Immaculate Conception at St. Andrew’s Hall, Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ.
Thomas Piro

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