The silent retreat officially ended on Thursday afternoon. The end of the silent retreat is always marked by an official "Covenant Liturgy" where the new men sign an agreement to faithfully participate in the prayerful discernment process. Following the Liturgy we always have a big celebratory dinner and a 4 day weekend. Needless to say the spirits of all the guys are high.
This year the Social Life chair, Mike Zgonc (from the Diocese of Manchester), planned a series of four activities to pass the time. On Friday those who wanted to participated in a city-wide scavenger hunt which ended at a Restaurant called "Andy Nelson's" of all things. On Saturday we headed up to Hershey Park in PA and enjoyed a busy day of Rollercoasters and the like. This year's trip was particularly notable in that Francis Ouma, seminarian for the Diocese of Gulu, Uganda and great friend to many in NH, experienced his first amusement park and thrill rides. He was a good sport and tried most all the rides. I won't lie seeing his face on the Rollercoasters was a huge draw.
On the way back from Hershey Park a group of us took a detour through Amish country. It was a beautiful evening for a drive through the country and a great chance for our foriegn born brother seminarians to see a unique part of American society. We stopped by a roadside Amish farmstand and bought fresh peaches and jam. Yum, Yum!
Today many of the guys took a trip to Annapolis for a tour of the city, boat cruise and lunch. I stayed back, slept in and did errands.
Tomorrow marks the final day of the big weekend and the calm before the storm.