By CJ Millen
On July 21, the St Charles’ seminarians in Guildford had the privilege of being involved in a silent retreat led by Monsignor Roderick Strange, Rector of Beda Pontifical College in Rome since 1998.
During the week-long retreat of silence, prayer and reflection, Mgr Strange guided the seminarians on a unique journey to discern their own vocation. He engaged the seminarians in a series of sessional talks, followed by personal reflection that challenged each individual to clarify and understand their own vocation, faith, identity and spirituality.
Some areas explored included: Who am I? Who is Jesus for me? Pray without Ceasing; Risk of Discipleship; and Communion with the Blood of Christ.
When asked to reflect about the retreat, Mgr Strange said the retreat was a chance for the seminarians to reflect more deeply on their own calling and sense of vocation.
“By offering my thoughts on a range of subjects, I hope it helps them to do this,” he said.
For many today, the Catholic Church can seem at times irrelevant, with secular views on the rise. Having a good guide like Mgr Strange is increasingly important for men discerning their own vocational call to priesthood, for it provides a way for them to engage fully with God through perceptive guidance.
When asked to give some words of advice for men considering their own call to priesthood for today’s world, Mgr Strange said: “My key advice for them is to be true to themselves in that, it is not an act… but rather it requires them to look deeply into one’s own heart and to act with integrity in knowing what being true to oneself actually means.”
All at St Charles’ Seminary thanked Mgr Strange for taking the time and effort to travel to Perth to share his knowledge and pastoral experiences with them.
St Charles’ Seminary’s second Vocation Enquiry Evening for 2013 is on Saturday, September 14 at 4pm for single men 18 years and over who are discerning a possible call to the priesthood.
For further information, please contact the Archdiocesan Vocations Director, Fr Jean-Noël Marie, on 9223 1350.