CHICAGO, IL [DOM] – The Diocese of the Midwest concluded its first seminarian retreat which was held July 17 through July 19. The retreat gathered current seminarians and those who are entering their first semester in the fall.
His Eminence Archbishop Daniel of Chicago and the Midwest invited the diocesan seminarians for a three day retreat to focus on prayer and to help cultivate personal relationships with his seminarians. The three day gathering was held at the Diocesan Cathedral, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Chicago, IL.
On Monday, July 17, the seminarians arrived in Chicago and began by praying an akathist to Wonderworking Tikhvin Icon, the diocesan icon of the Mother of God. They then had dinner with the Archbishop and enjoyed fellowship. On the following day, the students attended Hours and Typika at the Cathedral, and met with the Archbishop which focused on their formation as seminarians. Tours of the Holy Trinity Cathedral, St. George Cathedral, and the Chancery were all given before gathering for lunch. Following lunch, the seminarians enjoyed touring Chicago. Later that evening, the All Night Vigil was served for the feast of St. Seraphim of Sarov.
On the final day of the retreat, Wednesday, July 19, the feast of St. Seraphim of Sarov was celebrated with Divine Liturgy lead by Archbishop Daniel. The seminarians served and sang, assisting with the divine services. After the service, a final word was offered by the Archbishop and blessing for the participants safe travel was offered.
“This was a very nice and important gathering,” said Priest Alexander Koranda, Director of Seminarians for the Diocese of the Midwest. “The Midwest has been very blessed with hierarchs who have invested a lot of time in our seminarians, making regular visits to the seminaries. Archbishop Daniel has continued that tradition, and has developed the initiative by making the seminarians more a part of diocesan life. Seminary can be a time when one feels isolated or not a part of the diocese that they came from, the Diocese of the Midwest is attempting to change that and show our support in their efforts for the Church.”
In addition to the retreat, the diocese also holds a regular campaign in September to raise money that goes directly to seminarians to help them during there studies. The diocese has eleven seminarians for the 2023 – 2024 academic year.