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Over 60 seminarians and family members gathered together for a Mass and barbecue at Blessed John XXIII National Seminary in Weston on July 24 to celebrate the vocations of these men.
“This is one of the highlights of my life. My son chose to serve Jesus Christ,” said Juan Suarez, whose son, Carlos, will begin studying at St. John’s Seminary this fall.
Juan Suarez called his son’s vocation a blessing that God had put in his life.
Carlos Suarez, who has worked for the archdiocese’s Vocation Office, said he is looking forward to his studies and serving the Church as a priest.
“I couldn’t think of a better time or place to be doing it,” he said. “I know there’s a lot of need. We have a great bunch of guys, and there’s a lot of hope.”
Dan D’Innocenzo also said that he is excited to start his first year at St. Charles Boromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, where the archdiocese sends seminarians for undergraduate studies. His family has been very supportive during his discernment, which has been a “big help,” he added.
Mary Ellen Lewis said she came to the annual gathering to show support for her son and visit with the community of families, which is like an extended family
“The community is praying together for the good of all,” she said.
The event is an opportunity to get to know fellow seminarians and meet their families, said Shawn Carey, who studies at St. Patrick’s Seminary in California. This is especially important because the seminarians study at different schools throughout the country.
It is a gathering of the diocesan family, said Archbishop Seán P. O’Malley who celebrated the Mass and met with the seminarians afterward.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to get a chance to get acquainted with the seminarians and their families,” he said about the event.