Seminarians Experience Parish Life in Brewster


About 30 seminarians from St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie took the journey north to experience parish life at Masses at St. Lawrence O’Toole Church in Brewster.

Father Thomas Berg, a weekend associate at St. Lawrence O’Toole, is director of seminarian admissions and professor of moral theology at St. Joseph’s Seminary. He arranged the Feb. 13 trip for the seminarians, who have periodic parish visits on Sundays in the archdiocese, and in the Diocese of Brooklyn and Diocese of Rockville Centre, as part of their formation program. 

“It’s to enhance their experience of parish life, in this case also to accompany one of the faculty to take advantage of his connection to the parish and broaden their horizon of parish communities in the archdiocese, Brooklyn and Rockville Centre,” Father Berg told CNY.

Father Richard Gill, pastor of St. Lawrence O’Toole, organized the Seminarian Sunday event at his parish.

“It was a collaboration of the Knights of Columbus and a number of other very dedicated lay men and women at St. Lawrence who turned this into a wonderful day,” said Father Berg, who added seminarian parish visits are being planned for the spring.

“Father Richard Gill made this whole thing possible and put together a nice day for the guys.”

The seminary’s Schola Cantorum, a choir of seminarians, performed, and a meet and greet took place in the gymnasium after the 9:30 and 11 a.m. Masses. Parishioners had the opportunity to ask about their vocation and seminary life, giving the seminarians an opportunity to promote the idea of a vocation to the priesthood.

They have hope for the future of the Church,” said Father Berg of the parishioners. “They hear about the seminarians a lot because I talk about them. It was good to put faces on them, shake their hands and have coffee and doughnuts with them.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to hear men dedicating their life to the Church.”


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