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Message from our Seminarian, Robert Smialek

Our Seminarian, Robert Smialek, writes:

Greetings from Allen Hall,
As my first year at Seminary comes to an end, Fr. Javier thought it would be nice if I were to write a brief update on my experience so far. Firstly, let me start by saying that you are all in my prayers and whenever people ask me what parish I belong to, it is always with great pride that I get to tell them I’m a parishioner of Our Lady and St. Catherine of Sienna in Bow. I love our parish and I will never forget where I come from!
I can hardly believe my first year is over, it only feels like yesterday when Fr. Javier drove me to the seminary to see me off but I am happy to report that my time here has been very enjoyable and very rewarding. The seminary has also just informed me that I will be continuing on to year two, which is great news! Unfortunately, this does mean that I have to run the gauntlet of Fr. Javier’s scripture course for yet another year, so I need you all to keep praying for me!
It has naturally been quite a change in lifestyle. The days here are a mix of prayer, lectures and intense study. I’ve also been put in charge of music which is something I had no experience in before so I definitely have a new found respect for the people in charge of choirs! I have been assigned a Sunday parish out in Willesden Green where I run the children’s liturgy group and bring the Blessed Sacrament to the sick. Working with the children has been a really rewarding experience and the highlight of the year for me was when I got to lead the kids through the ‘Stations of the Cross’ on Good Friday.
As the term ends for the summer I will have some more free time on my hands so I am planning on getting back out to visit Bow. I look forward to seeing you all again and I pray that you are all keeping well.
Until then, ‘Keep the Faith’ and God Bless.


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