This summer was really a good one for me. As I told you in the last note, I attended the Institute for Priestly Formation (IPF) in Omaha, Nebraska. My ministry assignment was great. The kids with whom I was sharing time were such a beautiful blessing in my life. I remember that before I said goodbye to them, some were really sad. One of them said: “Really? Is this your last time here?” My heart was moved. I felt an indescribable experience of love towards them. Saying good bye was not easy for me. I really liked to share time with them and I enjoyed doing so.
I had a chance to visit my family back in Colombia. It was another blessing as well. My family is doing fine. We had a chance to visit one of the most beautiful pilgrimage places in Colombia. We went to the “salinas de Zipaquira.” It is a Cathedral built up inside the mountain. It is actually a mine of salt! There were many people from overseas in that place. I also had a chance to visit some friends. They invited me to go out and have dinner with them. This vacation time was really good for me.
Nowadays I am in my second year of pre-theology at Saint Meinrad School of Theology. This year does not look that easy at all. I am taking Greek and it is a real challenge for me.
Thanks for your prayers and your good intentions. I really appreciate it.
I hope to see you all soon at the Village.
May God bless you and your loved ones.
I hope things are going great for all of you. This summer I am attending the IPF (Institute for Priestly Formation) program in Omaha, Nebraska. The IPF is a 10-week summer program of spiritual formation for diocesan seminarians. In the program the Ignatian spirituality is emphasized using the spiritual exercises written by St. Ignatius himself. The language used in these exercises allows a good and concise understanding of what the interior life is about. During the second week we had a silent retreat which was a beautiful experience. “The silence amplifies consolations and/or desolations” said one of the speakers here at IPF. The silence allowed me to go back in time to my past experiences in life and to take God with me to heal what was needed to be healed. We also have spiritual direction once a week. For those who do not know, spiritual direction is “essentially companioning someone in his or her spiritual life. Other ways of describing spiritual direction include holy listening, spiritual friendship, sacred journeying. (Janna Larson, Roman Catholic, USA). All of us should have a spiritual director who can be a Priest or a pious lay person. In the rest of the weeks here, I will be doing my ministry assignment with kids who suffer psychiatric illnesses. I love it. I love kids. They always remind us of the beauty and love of God. And these kids also show the love of God.
I want to thank you for your generosity and kindness. The blessing of being here in this program is also because of your generous contribution to the seminarian fund.
God willing, I will be going to my home country, Colombia, in August. Please keep my family and me in your prayer.
May God bless you abundantly.