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home : features : youth / young adults October 17, 2017


3/22/2017
Medford priest to take vocations on the road with April 30 seminary visit
From The Heart • Father Joel Wilson, left, a priest of the Diocese of Trenton who serves on the faculty of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, chats about the priesthood last fall with a young parishioner from St. Mary of the Lakes Parish, Medford. The Diocese’s Ministry of Vocations is planning another seminary visit April 30 for boys in grades seven through 12. Photo courtesy of Father Daniel Swift
From The Heart • Father Joel Wilson, left, a priest of the Diocese of Trenton who serves on the faculty of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, chats about the priesthood last fall with a young parishioner from St. Mary of the Lakes Parish, Medford. The Diocese’s Ministry of Vocations is planning another seminary visit April 30 for boys in grades seven through 12. Photo courtesy of Father Daniel Swift

By Mary Stadnyk | Associate Editor

Instead of fielding questions and just talking about all that goes into becoming a priest, Father Daniel Swift has made arrangements for young men to see for themselves.

On April 30, Father Swift, diocesan assistant director of vocations and pastor of St. Mary of the Lakes Parish, Medford, is hosting a visit to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood, Pa., where male students in grades seven through 12 from across the Diocese, can spend an afternoon experiencing various aspects of seminary life.

“The goal is to introduce boys to the seminary and give them the opportunity to see and meet first-hand men who are studying for the priesthood,” said Father Swift.

Related Coverage: Medford parish's boys get glimpse into life of seminarians

During the visit, which runs from 3 to 6:30 p.m., the boys will be given a tour of the seminary; have some workout time in the gym; attend vespers (Evening Prayer); enjoy a light dinner and hear vocation talks from seminarians, as well as from him, Father Garry Koch, also an assistant director of vocations and pastor of St. Benedict Parish, Holmdel, and Father Michael Wallack, diocesan director of vocations and priest-secretary to Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.

“If I address the boys, I may talk about my calling to the priesthood,” said Father Swift, noting that one question that he is regularly asked is, “How did you know God was calling you to be a priest?”

“I may also talk about how I am the ‘Father’ of the parish family and how that is very similar to being the father of a biological family,” he said.

While the upcoming seminary visit is open to all boys, Father Swift noted that he hosted a previous visit to the seminary for six boys from St. Mary of the Lakes Parish last fall, an experience he regarded as successful.

“I could not have been asked a better question when we got in the car after the last trip and one boy asked, ‘When are we coming back?’” said a pleased Father Swift.

“The joke is that men study for the priesthood at a ‘cemetery,’” Father Swift said with a laugh. “After their visit they will realize the seminary is the furthest thing from a cemetery!”

Father Swift said that any boys interested in attending the April 30 visit to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary are to complete permission and medical information forms and chaperones wishing to assist with transportation to and from the seminary and supervise onsite must complete driver information forms. To download the forms or for further information go to dioceseoftrenton.org/ministry-of-vocations or contact Father Swift at father_dan@smlparish.org.

Related Coverage: Medford parish's boys get glimpse into life of seminarians



Related Stories:
• Medford parish's boys get glimpse into life of seminarians
• Medford eighth-grade boys get an idea of what it's like to be a priest for a day
• Priests, seminarian discuss priesthood as they lead Diocese's teens on tour of seminary life




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