Visit Reflection – from the Seminarians of St. Paul Roman Catholic College Seminary
At the heart of priestly formation is coming to a greater knowledge and experience of the Catholic Church. To be a great priest, one must first be a great Catholic. Crucial to being a great Catholic is what Saint Pope John Paul II called “breathing with both lungs.” By this he means breathing in the air of the Eastern Catholic Church and the Western Catholic Church. In order to do this, we the seminarians from St. Paul Seminary, the Roman Catholic College Seminary for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, came to visit Ss. Cyril and Methodius Seminary on September 28. We participated in Melkite Vespers, shared a meal with the seminarians and their formators, and were given a tour of the seminary.
During vespers, we experienced the beauty of the Eastern liturgy found in the chanting, the iconography, and the various rituals that accompany it. Over dinner, we discussed the differences between our rites, and more importantly, what we hold in common. Many of our brothers who were unfamiliar with the Eastern Church were very surprised to find that married men can be ordained! However, in spite of many differences found between the East and the West, we found that seminary life is rather similar between our two houses of formation. We are all men seeking to discern the Lord’s will, and to be formed into priests of Jesus Christ. We look forward to the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, when the Cyril and Methodius seminarians come to visit us here at St. Paul Seminary to get a taste of the Church of the West!