A Day of Discernment: Come and See Day at St. Mary’s Parish

“I am fully convinced that a retreat is essential right from the start… Nothing, except perhaps a direct revelation from God, can replace the value of a retreat in discerning a vocation. It truly simplifies the process,”
~ Fr. Peter Semenenko CR.
On Saturday, May 25th, St. Mary’s Rectory hosted an important event called “Come and See Day.” This initiative was designed to assist young men in discerning their call to religious life, serving as a preliminary step towards a longer retreat focused on discernment. The event was organized by our CR Vocation Team: Fr. Pawel Szymanowski CR, Fr. Raphael Ma CR, and Fr. Toby Collins CR. We welcomed five local participants and one from the USA, along with Fr. Eric Wagner, a Resurrectionist from the USA Province, who joined us for the occasion and participated in our community activities, including Mass at St. Jerome’s University on Sunday evening.
The focus of our “Come and See Day” was to explore the call to religious life. Participants had the opportunity to hear our personal vocational stories, engage in discussions about discernment, and, most importantly, join in prayer seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance. In our talks, Fr. Raphael highlighted the essence of religious life, particularly emphasizing the importance of the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Fr. Pawel shared practical advice on how to discern a religious vocation, drawing from the writings of the Founders of the Congregation of the Resurrection. Meanwhile, Fr. Eric Wagner and Fr. Toby Collins delved into discussions about love and the various gifts of the Holy Spirit, referencing both Scripture and real-world applications. Fr. Eric discussed the concept of love as depicted in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, while Fr. Toby shared interesting stories from his recent trip to our CR seminary in Tanzania and led a tour of St. Mary’s outreach program, Tiny Home Takeout.
The event was filled with good conversations and personal sharing, deepening our understanding of each other’s spiritual and vocational journeys. We dedicated time for prayer and adoration in our beautiful church, participated in the Liturgy of the Hours, and enjoyed communal meals. Looking ahead, we are excited to host another “Come and See Day” in October and plan monthly meetings to support those who wish to continue their discernment journey with us at St. Mary’s.
If you could not attend our Come and See Day, we encourage you to contact Fr. Pawel for more opportunities to explore discernment. Additionally, if you are interested in joining our monthly prayers and communal meals at St. Mary’s, please send us an email to learn more ([email protected]).