Just a few months after his ordination in Rome on May 4, 2019, Father Terrance Allen, LC, arrived at Pinecrest Academy, a Regnum Christi school in Cumming, Georgia, where he has been serving as the high school chaplain for the past three years, ministering to Pinecrest students and families, faculty and staff.
In his role as High School Chaplain, Father Terrance had the opportunity to take a group of students on Cheshtrek, an annual road trip organized by ECYD Atlanta, to the Legionaries of Christ’s seminary in Cheshire, Connecticut over the Labour Day weekend (unfortunately, last year’s trip was cancelled due to COVID). This year, 17 boys (15 of which were Pinecrest students) and three dads made the nearly 2000-mile round trip, stopping in New York City on the way to Connecticut.
For Father Terrance, Cheshtrek provides an extraordinary opportunity for boys to experience their faith in action in the lives of men not much older – and not much different – than themselves, who are living an intensely spiritual, prayer-centered life. While at Cheshire, the boys get to experience seminary life and meet the seminarians, who, while deeply spiritual, are ordinary young men just like themselves. “It’s a great experience for the guys to go to the seminary and meet so many other young men living their faith in an intense way, spending many hours in prayer, and who at the same time will go and play sports with them, and are even sometimes better than them at sports!” says Father Terrance. “These seminarians are all young men who are regular guys and yet intensely spiritual, and the boys are always taken aback by how normal they are!”
The trip also provides an opportunity for boys with vocational interests to witness and get excited about seminary life; for others, it is an introduction to a call that they may never have considered. Says Father Terrance, “It’s a really cool experience that the guys usually couldn’t have that takes them out of their comfort zone and introduces them to a new reality.”
On the way back from their trip to Cheshire, the group stopped in New York again, this time to take in a Yankees game. This year, two Pinecrest alumni who are attending Westpoint, a four-year federal service academy in the state of New York, joined the group for the game to connect with their former classmates and friends.
Father Terrance’s favorite thing about his role as high school chaplain at Pinecrest is how he gets to come face to face on a daily basis with the people to whom he ministers. “Every day I arrive to school and there are students, parents, faculty with whom I can share my vocation and serve. They’re always there, to be ministered to, every day!”
You can find out more about Pinecrest and their upcoming events on their website at pinecrestacademy.org.