After completing their first year of course work at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall University, the Permanent Diaconate Candidates from the Archdiocese of Newark participated in their first annual retreat. The retreat was led by Reverend James Teti, S.T.B., S.T.L. Director of Selection and Formation in the Permanent Diaconate, from the Archdiocese of Newark, Father Mariusz Koch, C.F.R., a well-known Franciscan Friar of the Renewal, and Dianne M. Traflet, J.D., S.T.D., Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Administration and Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology. The candidates settled in at the retreat center located on the beautiful campus of Delbarton School in Morristown on Friday, June 23rd. The wives of candidates were invited and several were able to join them in this special event. The theme of the retreat was inspired by He Leadeth Me by Father Walter Ciszek, S.J.
Looking to explore and deepen their spirituality, the candidates were involved in some wonderful activities. The retreat started with evening prayer and Mass celebrating the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which served as the perfect segue to Father Koch’s first inspiring talk. The men were both challenged and supported to explore ways to deepen their trust and relationship with the Lord. Throughout the remainder of the weekend, candidates heard an additional talk by Father Koch and several talks by Dr. Traflet. Specific topics of the talks varied, yet the consistent theme through all talks was exploring ways to deepen faith in the Lord, which all found to be quite helpful as they continue in the formation process.
Additional activities during the retreat included: morning and evening prayers as a class, Mass with the Monks of St. Mary’s Abbey located on the campus of Delbarton, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, an hour of silence, opportunities for Confession, and social time. A special session was included for the wives based on Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The weather was picture perfect on Saturday and Sunday, allowing many of the activities to take place outdoors on the beautiful sprawling 400-acre campus of Delbarton. Candidates noted the retreat helped them in many ways, including exposure to different ways of devotion, time for prayer, inspirational concepts on deepening spirituality as it relates to pastoral ministry, and strengthening the already close fraternal bond they share.
At the close of the retreat, many of the candidates commented on how this retreat was the perfect way to bring their first year of academic study to a close, as the time helped kindle a new flame for their spirituality. Over the summer, candidates will minister and pray with their local parishes, while resting and preparing for their next semester of studies. Candidates were sad to say goodbye to one another and very much look forward to working with each other, the Archdioceses of Newark and Seton Hall as they continue their formation this Fall.
Finally, the candidates would like to thank Father James Teti, Father Mariusz Koch, Dr. Dianne Traflet, Deacon Andrew Saunders, Director of the Center for Diaconal Formation, and Kimberly Mailley, Assistant Director of the Center for Diaconal Formation for all of the work they did preparing for and in leading an extremely successful and much appreciated retreat.
Categories: Faith and Service