June 4, 2017
  • re-2017-1-arriola-blog

Top 5 Highlights: May 22-28

1. It was exciting to fly for the first time. Being able to see so much as we flew over was an amazing experience.

2. The Cluny Abby was an amazing site. The tour of the Abby, being able to see what it looked like before its ruin, is something that will stick in my mind for a long time.

3. Seeing the church in Paray le Monial, where St. Margaret Mary received the apparitions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was very special. These apparitions are a staple for the devotion to the Sacred Heart, which is so prominent in our spirituality these days. Seeing the site where it all took place is what made this so special.

4. Walking the path that St. John Vianney took to get to Ars was a great experience. Also, viewing the location where he asked the young boy, Antoine Givre, directions in order to complete his journey to Ars, was a fantastic experience for us who one day hope to model this extraordinary parish priest.

5. Spending five days on retreat in Ars was simply amazing. Being able to pray in the places in which the Cure of Ars would have done his own prayer and reflections was an experience that I will never forget.


This week was an amazing experience for my discernment of the priesthood. The retreat given by Father Baker has strengthened my will to continue in my formation more than anything that I can remember. The guidance that both priests have given in a structure of prayer has started to show me better ways I can work on my life of prayer, and being able to work on them in the midst of a retreat, not to mention a retreat in Ars in the midst of the ever so holy Cure of Ars, was an exceptional way to begin. This initial week of the Rome Experience has been extremely advantageous for my ongoing spiritual growth.

Elijah Puthoff
The Rome Experience Class of 2017
Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Mount St. Mary’s of the West Seminary

[About the Photo: Seminarians from the Rome Experience Class of 2017 with Ars, France in the background. Courtesy of Ricardo Arriola.]