A Seminarian says: How SEEK 2015 Changed My Life

Let me first explain why I did not want to go to SEEK in the first place.

Towards the beginning of the academic year, as I was starting my second year in the seminary for the Archdiocese of New York, I got an email asking me if I wanted to go to this Catholic conference in Nashville, Tennessee. It was left up for grabs for any of the seminarians to go to. I had been to some Catholic youth/young adult events in my life which made me able to say I had been to enough. Not to mention when I was told I would have a fourteen-hour bus ride ahead of me, I was not exactly excited.

It then became evident that nobody had signed up because our seminary’s vice rector, Fr. Luke Sweeney, asked me personally to go. Considering that one of my many qualities is my inability to say “no” to things that I want to say “no” to, I told him to sign me up! I walked away realizing that I had gotten myself into quite a mess because I would have to sacrifice a week of my free time to go down to Nashville as a representative of the Archdiocese of New York.

All of a sudden the months that were left until SEEK turned into weeks, and the weeks into days. I had read the list of speakers and performers who would be going to SEEK, and I was getting excited. Maybe “excited” is not a good enough word – I was on the edge of my seat. I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know whom I was going to meet, and I didn’t care – somehow I knew that this was going to be a special week.

As we piled into the bus, I began to befriend the people around me (that being said, you better be friends with the other people if you’re going to spend fourteen hours in a box on wheels with them). As we got to the hotel, I was blown away with the magnitude of the venue, as were the 10,000 people around me. As we went to Mass, I was moved by the number of people who were there. As we got into our hotel room that night, my brother seminarian, Steven, and I looked at each other and said that this was going to be a great week.

After saying all of that, I hadn’t really had the time of my life yet (Man after half a day? You’ve got to be kidding!), until the seminarians had our own breakout session. This is when I took a whole new look at our Church, evangelization, and the salvation of souls in a now easier way. Curtis Martin came and spoke to the seminarians (100-200 of us), and broke down just how FOCUS works and how the new evangelization is so incredibly possible, not easy, but possible. He told us that there is no formula to have the whole world evangelized by the end of the day, week, year or even decade. The apostles couldn’t do it; the past popes couldn’t do it; and neither can you or I. What he did say, however, is that we can evangelize two people. If we spend a whole year with two people, if we win them for Christ and to Christ, and we build them up for a whole year of how to win other people, then after the year send them off to win two of their own for a whole year, and repeat the process, it can be done. Now the natural thought is, how are my two friends and I going to save the world? Let’s do some math. Let’s say you kept this process up for three years, my two friends would have each got two friends – who would have each got two friends – you would have14 people; not a lot, but a start. If you really keep it up for the next twenty-five years, you will have over 33 million people. If you want to change the world, you have to put in the time to change just one soul.

I must say, every once in a while I see something that inspires me to become a priest. When you spend some time in the seminary, it can be easy to lose the flame you have for Christ every once in a while. Everywhere I turned during SEEK, I saw an inspiration. I saw a line for confession that never went shorter than 100 people. I saw young men and women asking different religious what their order is about because they themselves are discerning consecrated religious life. I saw a processional line for Mass that had hundreds of priests in it. I saw a perpetual adoration chapel that was full every day (with hundreds of chairs set up inside). I saw over 200 priests hearing confessions at the same time. Most importantly, I saw close to 10,000 young people singing praises to our Lord for hours. I saw the Holy Spirit working in the lives of people who needed His grace and love.

So, how did SEEK 2015 change my life? The answer is simple: I experienced God and His children being with each other, and there is no sight that is more beautiful than that of somebody encountering God.

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"Here also it must be added, as the Fathers and Doctors of the Church have clearly taught, that virginity is not a Christian virtue unless we embrace it "for the kingdom of heaven;" that is, unless we take up this way of life precisely to be able to devote ourselves more freely to divine things to attain heaven more surely, and with skillful efforts to lead others more readily to the kingdom of heaven." Pius XII, 1954 ... See MoreSee Less

Here also it must be added, as the Fathers and Doctors of the Church have clearly taught, that virginity is not a Christian virtue unless we embrace it for the kingdom of heaven; that is, unless we take up this way of life precisely to be able to devote ourselves more freely to divine things to attain heaven more surely, and with skillful efforts to lead others more readily to the kingdom of heaven. Pius XII, 1954

You know the effect a conference can have on someone’s life. You know how powerful a personal invitation from a friend is. Now it’s time to reach out to others and help them have a life-changing experience. Become a #SEEK2019 Ambassador. // The top three ambassadors who recruit the most individuals will receive an iPad mini, reserved seating (one night) for the entire group and a shout out from the main stage. Visit www.seek2019.com/ambassador to learn more about different levels of incentives ... See MoreSee Less

You know the effect a conference can have on someone’s life. You know how powerful a personal invitation from a friend is. Now it’s time to reach out to others and help them have a life-changing experience. Become a #SEEK2019 Ambassador. // The top three ambassadors who recruit the most individuals will receive an iPad mini, reserved seating (one night) for the entire group and a shout out from the main stage. Visit www.seek2019.com/ambassador to learn more about different levels of incentives

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We know you're already talking about coming to #SEEK2019, so why not come for FREE? We're giving away TWO free passes! One for you and one for your friend! To enter: 1) LIKE this picture. 2) Tag a deserving friend or two in the comments below. 3) Make sure you're both following us! Contest closes 8/17 at 11:59 p.m. MT. // For full contest rules, visit www.seek2019.com/terms-and-conditions/ ... See MoreSee Less

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Digital Campus equips students to become saints in the digital age. Apply now and see how you can create a culture of discipleship on your campus using just your laptop! goo.gl/forms/Q7tQcDuMWnlpznAn1
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We will spend one week on a #focusmissions trip in Panama before joining the rest of the Universal Church for #WYD in Panama City! You'll have the opportunity to live with host families, serve the poor and see the Holy Father, Pope Francis!

Limited spots available, apply now! bit.ly/2KlKUQL
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We will spend one week on a #focusmissions trip in Panama before joining the rest of the Universal Church for #WYD in Panama City! Youll have the opportunity to live with host families, serve the poor and see the Holy Father, Pope Francis! 

Limited spots available, apply now! http://bit.ly/2KlKUQL

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FOCUS-The Fellowship of Catholic University Students published a note.

SEEK2019 Inspires Desire to Encounter Something
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FOCUS Photography Club at NYU updated their cover photo.

Taken on Canon T3i
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Taken on Canon T3i

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Combining our two biggest passions this weekend: FOOD and PHOTOGRAPHY at Smorgasburg!! :) Come join us!

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Join the NYU Leadership Initiative for #NYULeadershipWeek (September 25-28, 2017) and take advantage of free events and workshops where you can explore how to find, build, and contribute to the communities we call home. Workshop topics include: design thinking, mindful leadership, community organizing, networking and much more. Plus, get to meet one of our co-founders on a panel this Tuesday.

See the full schedule and reserve your spot at bit.ly/NYULeadWeek
... See MoreSee Less

FOCUS Photography is about more than just photography - its about finding a community on campus and thriving in it. We call this leadership. 

Join the NYU Leadership Initiative for #NYULeadershipWeek (September 25-28, 2017) and take advantage of free events and workshops where you can explore how to find, build, and contribute to the communities we call home. Workshop topics include: design thinking, mindful leadership, community organizing, networking and much more. Plus, get to meet one of our co-founders on a panel this Tuesday. 

See the full schedule and reserve your spot at bit.ly/NYULeadWeek

FOCUS Photography Club at NYU shared Diply's post.

Can you believe this editing??
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Can you believe this editing??

Hello NYU Photographers!

We are extremely excited to announce that we will be going on our first excursion of the Fall 2016 semester! Come join us as we walk the Highline, located in Chelsea. The theme for this event is "Lines" (pun intended), and we will focus on taking cool shots that involve lines and geometry. We sincerely hope you can make it out!

As always, you do not need a DSLR (those "big fancy cameras") or any photography experience to participate on this excursion. Just come along with any camera you have, phones included, and have fun snapping photos!

LINES on the HIGHLINE
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
12:00pm
Meet on the Kimmel Steps!
... See MoreSee Less

Hello NYU Photographers!

We are extremely excited to announce that we will be going on our first excursion of the Fall 2016 semester! Come join us as we walk the Highline, located in Chelsea. The theme for this event is Lines (pun intended), and we will focus on taking cool shots that involve lines and geometry. We sincerely hope you can make it out!

As always, you do not need a DSLR (those big fancy cameras) or any photography experience to participate on this excursion. Just come along with any camera you have, phones included, and have fun snapping photos!

LINES on the HIGHLINE
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
12:00pm
Meet on the Kimmel Steps!

FOCUS Photography Club at NYU updated their cover photo.

Taken by: Sahaana @ ONE WORLD OBSERVATORY
... See MoreSee Less

Taken by: Sahaana  @ ONE WORLD OBSERVATORY

FOCUS Photography Club at NYU updated their cover photo. ... See MoreSee Less

FOCUS Photography Club at NYU updated their profile picture. ... See MoreSee Less

Happy World Photography Day, everyone!! Keep snapping! ... See MoreSee Less

Standing at the top of the stairs of the Met if you're looking for us :-) ... See MoreSee Less

Standing at the top of the stairs of the Met if youre looking for us :-)

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