Thinking of becoming a priest? This retreat is for you | Catholic Review of Baltimore


Father Steven Roth calls it “the most consequential event” the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s vocations office offers every year for those considering the priesthood.

The annual discernment retreat is a chance for potential seminarians to learn more about what it takes to be a priest, meet men who are already in formation and ask questions about the life and ministry of a priest. They also get to meet Archbishop William E. Lori and hear his reflections on the priesthood.

While the coronavirus pandemic has made a traditional retreat impossible this year, the vocations director said it was critical to still offer it in a “virtual way” through videoconferencing.

This year’s retreat will begin Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. and end Feb. 28 with a 10:30 a.m. Mass celebrated by Archbishop Lori from St. Joseph in Cockeysville.

“In years past, this retreat has really been what has motivated people to take that next step – whatever that step might be, whether it’s actually applying to become a priest or taking discernment a bit more seriously,” Father Roth said. “It’s a chance to experience the camaraderie of other discerners.”

In the Year of St. Joseph, the retreat will use St. Joseph as a guide. Session topics will include “St. Joseph: The Wordless Teacher of Discernment”; “St. Joseph: He came to be righteous as St. Joseph”; “St. Joseph: A Man with a Plan”; and “St. Joseph: A Man of Action.”

“They get to the fact that St. Joseph was an energetic and enthusiastic man wanting to do what he thought was best,” Father Roth said. “He was open to the Lord and following the Lord’s lead, especially when it meant a change of his own plan or expectations.”

The retreat is open to Catholic men age 18 and older. Participants will receive a gift box that includes a rosary, a medal of St. Joseph, a discernment book and other resources for the weekend.

There are currently 54 seminarians preparing to become priests for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

To register for the discernment retreat, visit The registration deadline is Feb. 20. 

Email George Matysek at [email protected]

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