Seminarians get away, to pray and unwind

Soon seminarians of the archdiocese will be heading back to their seminaries for school-year routines of classes, homework, formation and prayer.

But first, they were given a week away to be fed and nourished – physically and spiritually – to pray and worship, to unwind, to explore and discover.

They found all of that on the archdiocese's annual seminarian summer retreat.

This year, the 21 seminarians took off five days, July 31 to Aug. 4, to travel to Duluth, Minnesota, with Father Scott Schilmoeller, archdiocese vocations director.

Their bus left the St. John Paul II Newman Center in Omaha in the morning, after a Holy Hour and Mass, and by evening arrived at their retreat destinations in Duluth: McCabe Renewal Center and St. Scholastica Monastery.

Each day included Mass and community prayer. They also had time to relax, play games, hike to a scenic waterfall and kayak before heading back by bus on Aug. 4.

It wasn't all fun and games, though. The seminarians had jobs: cooler crusaders, snack stewards and directors of food, entertainment, liturgy, first aid and photography.

On the final day of the retreat – a day celebrating the memorial of St. John Vianney – the seminarians stopped at St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, to visit a new chapel and worship at Mass.

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