A new year is beginning at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary. The preceding summer months have been anything but quiet. In addition to several projects to enhance the campus, summer classes have been conducted both online and on-property. The end of June saw two weeks of intensive classes for a new group of 18 deacon students representing the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh and the eparchies of Passaic, Phoenix, and Stamford. Deacon student John Cencich of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh had the following to share about his experience:
There was an authentic and sincere sense of warmth as we were welcomed for a truly unique and spiritually deepening undertaking in our lives. I was also struck by the organization of the program. The curriculum of the School of Diaconate Studies is purposefully presented in a way that follows the subject matter taught in the Seminary’s graduate degree programs, but in an abridged and rich format.
The mornings and evenings included liturgical services at which all deacon students served at the altar, and other talented members of the group undertook readings and served as cantors. It was not uncommon and quite comforting to hear chanting emanating from the chapel even in the late hours of the night.
The days were long, but in the end, we were provided with a world-class opportunity to engage with some of the best professors in their fields. The two weeks were intensive indeed, but they were everything I expected plus! On top of that, the facilities and the meals were excellent. I think I can speak for all of us by saying it was a very positive experience and one by which our life journeys not only intersected, but also deepened and expanded.