With Easter upon us, I have been reflecting on my Lenten journey. One thing that comes to mind that helped me this Lent has been the fraternity amongst my brothers, in particular my Camden brothers. The bond that we Camden men share is like no other. Lent can be a very challenging time, especially with the struggles of fasting and the various observations one may take up for the forty days. But when you have a strong group of loving brothers to back you up, it then makes this tough time less challenging and more intimate with Christ. Having these brothers, it gives you people to hold you accountable and vice versa, and it gives you people to keep you focused on the end goal, in this case, the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday. On Monday of Holy Week, our five Camden guys at St. Andrew’s Hall had the opportunity to have a mass with just ourselves and Fr. Fred Miller. This was a very special moment for me, just our five brothers being able to unite ourselves to each other in the Eucharist. Not only did this make me think of the beauty we are going to experience on Easter Sunday, but it made me appreciate what I have in the fraternity of our Camden seminarians.
The fraternity that the Camden diocese has in the seminary is something that has always helped to fortify my vocation. There is a comfort that comes with this fraternity where I know I can be myself with my brothers and love and friendship will always be there. This does not just apply to only the college seminarians I live with, but to all my fellow diocesan brothers. Whenever we all get together for a meal and time spent together, it always boosts my spirits amidst the daily struggles of college seminary life. Time spent with my brother seminarians helps me to focus on the important things in my life, like the fraternity in Camden and the beauty of this vocation, and worry less about the papers, exams, and everything else that adds unnecessary stress to my life. I cannot help but think of the common phrase, “there is strength in numbers.” This perfectly sums up the fraternity of the Camden diocese. The number of brothers I have here will always be there to strengthen me along this journey to priesthood.