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Summer Seminarian Experience

Summer Seminarian Experience

By David Drefcinski, SMG Summer Seminarian

“Hello, this is the hospital information desk, how can I help you?” … “Hi, this is seminarian David Drefcinski from St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church, and I was wondering if you have any parishioners who are patients at the hospital today?” … “Let me look…Yes, we have one…Would you like me to forward your call to their room number?” … “Yes please.” … “Hi, this is seminarian David Drefcinski from St. Maria Goretti. Would you like me to come visit and bring you the Eucharist?!...Yes! Ok I am on my way.”

This was my summer routine. Several times a week I called to the area hospitals to check if any parish members were there. Through these experiences, I received another taste of what it will be like as a priest, especially in a hospital. The focus for my seminary formation this summer has been taking part in Clinical Pastoral Experience, which is a program required by the seminary to give seminarians experience ministering in a hospital setting.

What has impacted me the most is bringing the Eucharist to those in the hospital. What a joy and an honor to bring them the Most Holy Eucharist. It exposes them to the Light of Christ while they struggle in the darkness. “Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” At the end of every Mass, we are sent forth to proclaim the Gospel to the world. We all become heralds of the Most Blessed Sacrament. For me to bring Jesus, physically present, to the patients has been a truly moving experience. It feels similar to the Corpus Christi procession, when we brought Jesus out on the streets. Just think, what if we had a similar Eucharist procession to the hospital room and bedside? When I bring Jesus out into the community, to the hospital, to those who are suffering, it changes lives.

Sometimes it can be hard to understand why the Lord is allowing those whom we love to suffer. I have been very blessed to hear beautiful explanations from Fr. Scott and Fr. Enan on this topic. All the suffering points to Jesus on the cross and the hope he brings in the midst of the pain. It may be hard for me to explain at a hospital bedside why God is allowing their suffering, but by helping to lift their prayers to the Lord they are able to “keep their eyes fixed on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2). And sometimes something simple, like a friendly smile or being physically present, can heal many hearts.

Besides the hospital work this summer, I have been able to participate in many parish activities such as Book Club, Cor ad Cor, Evening of Recollection (Sponsored by Opus Dei), Sunday Coffee & Donuts, Carefree Years Morning Mass & Muffins, Young Adults Devil’s Lake Outing, and Eucharistic Adoration. I enjoyed being a part of this active parish community and especially the vibrant Young Adult community. Before I entered seminary, I was heavily involved with the Newman Center at UW-Platteville. The young adult community here at SMG is exactly what every parish should have for those who are post-college. It shows the Church has a bright future and is bursting at the seams with those who want to go out to share the Gospel. Much like Fr. Scott’s garden.

It has been a very blessed summer. Thank you to everyone for your patience with me as I tried to remember names. It is a gift from the Holy Spirit I wish I had. Maybe it will get better as a priest…maybe. Please know of my prayers for all of you. God-willing (and Bishop-willing) I will be ordained a Transitional Deacon in the spring of 2023.

Your brother in Christ,

David Drefcinski

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