A reflection from Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.
Each year, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary invites the bishops of dioceses that send their seminarians there for priest formation to celebrate Mass and join the community for dinner.
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I am always happy to accept the invitation to visit the seminary and have the opportunity to be with our seminarians on these occasions. The Diocese of Trenton currently has six of its 16 seminarians studying at St. Charles.
Growing up in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, I was very much aware of the importance of this place within the Archdiocese and had even considered enrolling there before meeting the Vincentians.
The rector of the seminary, Father Keith Chylinski, was kind enough to offer me the opportunity to celebrate Mass this year on the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul, the founder of the religious congregation to which I belong.
After Mass, Msgr. Mullelly, vicar for clergy and, director of seminarians; Father Jean Felicien, my priest secretary and master of ceremonies, and I made our way to the seminary dining room for a festive dinner with the seminary community.
St. Vincent de Paul had a profound love for the clergy of his day and identified priestly formation as an important work of the community he founded. My visit to the seminary was a memorable way to celebrate his memory with the priest faculty and young men preparing for the priesthood.
Before Mass, I had the occasion to be interviewed on videotape by Jesse Kundrat, a Trenton seminarian, for the seminary’s YouTube channel. The “Trenton gang” sat together for dinner and enjoyed the opportunity to talk and share a few laughs. It was a great visit!