Well, we're back from Thanksgiving break and the normal craziness of the end of the year is definitely here. Fortunately, our wonderful Archbishop here gave us this past Monday off. I'm not really sure why. All I remember is that we had a big dinner one night and Archbishop Carlson made a speech about our new building plans, and afterward he said he was giving us a day off of school.
Why? He said because he's always wanted to since becoming a bishop and this is the first seminary he's had to do it with. It's good to be the bishop.
In other news, Msgr. Ed Rice (pictured to the Left), the vocation director for the Saint Louis Archdiocese, was elevated to Auxiliary Bishop-elect yesterday. That's neat for us here since Msgr.'s office is here at the seminary and all of us know him well. Just tonight, I was working out in the gym, and he was running on his treadmill like normal. I tried to imagine Bishop Jackels running on a treadmill in our gym - it didn't work very well.
God is with us,
Go Griffins! Go Eagles! Go Lions! What a week for sports here in Saint Louis and at home. Last Sunday, our seminary soccer team pulled out a tough 1-0 shut-out against the AC South City despite injuries and only having one referee on the field.
Last night, I watched the Vianney (Griffins) vs. SLUH state championship semi-final game at the soccer park stadium here in town. I teach freshmen Old Testament and Theology of the Body once a week at Vianney as part of my apostolic work at the seminary. That said, I was very pleased with their 2-0 victory over the SLUH junior billikens last night. There's a picture from the match below and here's the link for the article: Article for Vianney Soccer Win
As part of our teaching preparation, we, as the third theology class, take a course on education and catechetics from the Sisters of the Sacred Heart (SDSH) who are pictured below with our Theology III class (I'm in the back with the really short hair). The sisters really like Bishop Jackels because he gave them a retreat once and they were very impressed.
Finally, I, of course, have to say something about my Eagles. Bishop Carroll pulled off a huge shut-out last night against Hutchinson. The video for that is up on top here. I feel very proud to be an Eagle today especially thinking of my old classmates who are still there coaching and supporting the team. Article for Bishop Carroll Victory
As an addendum, I should say something about St. Mary's Colgan for Dcn. John Fogliasso's sake. St. Mary's pulled out the victory over Olpe last night to advance in the state tourney. Dcn. John never lets us Bishop Carroll grads at Kenrick forget about Southeast Kansas and its dominance in sports.
Saints, Saints, and more Saints! Saints are such an inspiration to my life. For Veterans Day, Holy Family Parish is having a special celebration for Fr. Kapaun. He even made it to the cover of the VFW magazine as pictured to the right. I also put a link to one of his recorded homilies at the bottom of the page because I thought that was neat that we have his actual voice.
Oddly enough, I met a priest here in Saint Louis at the annual alumni Mass and dinner who was classmates with Fr. Kapaun. This priest was also an army chaplain in Korea, coincidentally. I asked him about Fr. Kapaun, and he said he didn't really remember him be too extraordinary in seminary. He was another brother seminarian and did everything he was suppose to do. After the Korean War, this priest was pleasantly surprised to hear about Fr. Kapaun's heroic witness in the prison camp.
For Veterans day, this Saint Louis priest will be in Pilsen. He wants to stop there for Veterans day, and then go see the site where Knute Rockne's plane crashed (apparently it was in Kansas.)
Speaking of Notre Dame, another great Saint of our times is St. André Bessette of the Holy Cross Fathers (the ones who run Notre Dame).
He was a miracle worker in Montreal and a great witness of prayer and devotion - especially to St. Joseph. I was surprised to read in our Catholic Advance recently that St. André actually has relatives in Blessed Sacrament parish in Wichita. They traveled to Rome a few weeks ago to witness the canonization.
Praise God for all of our Saints! May they continue to pray for us and all the poor souls in purgatory.
Fr. Kapaun and St. André, Pray for us!
Fr. Kapaun homily
Bishops and Handwriting
Pictured with the Most Reverend Robert Hermann, auxiliary bishop of St. Louis, are Wichita seminarians (from left) Andy Walsh, Zach Pinaire, Jason Knauff, Eric Nichols and Sam Brand.
Those sharp looking young men above are the five Wichita men at Kenrick who are in first theology (not the one with the cool hat on). First theology's a big year for a lot of us because of all the changes that take place.
Andy came from Conception seminary, and I think he's still trying to get used to the fact there is more than cows and chickens available if you want to find some fast food.
Zach, Sam, and Eric are all from St. John Vianney seminary in St. Paul, Minn. I came from the same seminary 2 1/2 years ago, and I can attest that it was a bit of change. The biggest change for me was that I actually had time ... yeah, time, period. Vianney keeps the college men busy, which it should, but Kenrick, as it is focused more on immediate preparation for the priesthood, allows the seminarians to make some decisions on their own.
Jason was at Kenrick for pre-theology already, so he entered first theology in the same building. His big adjustment is the fact that he can study a subject that he understands now. (You study philosophy in pre-theology and theology in theology school)
In order to advance in each of the steps leading toward diaconate and priesthood, each seminarian has to petition, in their own handwriting, a letter to his bishop requesting the next step. This is always a challenge for me, since I forgot how to write cursive when I learned how to type back in elementary school. (Yeah, I know I was a nerd). Bishop Jackels just finished making his annual visit to Kenrick today. I told him I hoped he can read my letter petitioning for orders this next year. He said he better be able to, or else he might get confused and think I'm asking for dinner instead of the diaconate. Don't we all love Bishop Jackels?
As an aside, Cardinal-elect Raymond Burke is pictured here in the same vestment as Bishop Herman above. Bishop Burke used to be in St. Louis, and he loved Kenrick seminary. He's also an outspoken proponent of Pro-Life issues. One of his interviews is included below. We're really proud of him now that he's been appointed to be a cardinal. Praise be Jesus Christ!
Parents are important
The Notre Dame trip a week ago was so refreshing, I thought I'd do posts on it, instead of one ... actually, Pat Burns (Father of Devin Burns, 4th year in college seminary) saw my last post and noticed I didn't have any actual pictures from the trip. Since Pat was there with us, he sent me some of his pictures via my dad who he knows from work.
You can see on the left here the group shot of us all tailgating before the game. The bean-bag game was quite frustrating for me that Saturday. I seem to have this inability to toss things underhanded. It's been a problem for a while - and overhand doesn't work so well with the bean-bag game.
To the right, you can see my mug shot in front of the marching band. I have to say, I really love band. There's something so good and pure about so many people marching and playing together all as one.
A followup story to the last post: the band director who was the former grad student at K-State replied to my e-mail to him. He said, "Of course I remember you. Actually, after leaving K-State, I entered the RCIA and became Catholic. My wife and I now teach theology of the body and NFP classes up in Michigan."
I thought this was an amazing story. I'm currently in our theology of the body class at the seminary and some of the work that is being done in the church in this regard is quite amazing and hopeful.
Old Memories, Old Traditions
This past weekend was our Fall break at Kenrick. Just for the record, our fall break was this Monday and Tuesday, but the Mount St. Mary's (our other Major Seminary) had the entire week off last week. At times like this, I like to remember one of those great Ignatius spiritual principles that says God will only give us the sufferings we can handle ...
For break, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to South Bend to attend my very first Notre Dame football game. This came about because one of my teammates at Camp Totus Tuus this summer, Kelly Weber (you may remember the red-headed girl pulling back the water balloon launcher in one of the previous posts) is a Senior there, and she invited all of us to come up to a game. Not all of us could come, unfortunately, but there was a good group of us. Two men from Kenrick actually came up with me because they wanted to see a game as well, and four guys came from the Mount. Why?, well what else are you going to do for a week-long break?
What struck me the most about Notre Dame was their great sense of tradition. The University just felt Catholic from being there. They have a certain way of doing things there, and they're going to keep it that way, darn it. It's a good Catholic outlook - keep your traditions, because if you don't keep your traditions, you'll end up making new ones that you never planned on making - and they almost assuredly won't have as much meaning.
One of the traditions I loved the most was their band. I played snare drum in the marching band ever since my sophomore year of high school through my fourth year of K-State. Pictured here, you can see an interview with my old K-State band director, Dr. Frank Tracz. I am forever indebted to him for teaching some of the best Human formation I've ever had - in or out of seminary. He always had great phrases like: "Dream big dreams and roll up your sleeves," or "To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and to be late is to be left behind," or the classics "Work harder - lots of people have it worse off than you" (usually in more colorful language).
At the Notre Dame game, the visiting band from Western Michigan was there. It happened to be led by David Montgomery, who was a grad-student at K-State when I was there. That was a nice surprise, and he brought back some good memories of K-State. His band was excellent by the way. From the marching and the playing, I felt proud that he was a product of K-State.
I could go on for a long time, but I'll leave you with one of the highlights of the weekend: the wave. Above is a video taken from that game. People claim it was the longest wave in the history of Notre Dame - a double wave at that - and I am proud to say I was a part of it.
Soccer article and Our Lady of the Rosary
There's been so much happening here this past week, I don't know where to start. We had a great front page article about the soccer team in the Saint Louis Review (the Catholic newspaper here). Unfortunately, they didn't put the article on-line, so I copied our coach's comments below. You can see a picture of the team to the Left. If you look closely at the poorly scanned image, I'm the one kneeling down toward the camera with the balding spot on top of my head - they say balding is a sign of sagacity, I think it's just a sign that God is still wants me to be more humble.
The game went well, we tied 3-3. We didn't have practice the Friday before because we had a day of recollection - with Bishop Coakley as the retreat master. I'll have to write about my Bishop Coakley stories one of these days - he's a wonderful Bishop and has had an influence in my own discernment.
The picture of Jamie getting taken out from behind is a bit brutal,
but I included it because they had it in the newspaper. The other team did not get a yellow card, but I thought they should have.
This week was also the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary, which is a celebration of the defeat of the Turkish Muslim fleet at the battle of Lepanto in 1571. The Christian kingdoms of Europe banded together against all odds to defeat a much superior and much more tactically intelligent Muslim fleet in the bay of Lepanto (formerly the bay of Corinth). Historians, even those outside the Catholic Faith, highlight this battle of one of the most influential battles in all of military history. The Christians were victorious not mainly because of their strength, valor, or intelligence, but primarily because of the trust in God and the prayers going up to heaven through our Blessed Mother by means of the Rosary.
This feast by itself helps inspire me to work harder and harder both on the pitch and off the pitch at seminary. We're going to work hard tomorrow to try to take home a victory this week. May Mary protect us.
Last week, we had a workshop at the seminary on the new translation of the Roman Missal that is coming in November 2011. The speaker was Monsignor Andrew R. Wadsworth, the executive director of ICEL - the people who did the translations. In other words, we thought we were pretty special to have the head guy (that's a technical term for the executive director) of the group that made the new translation.
For the students at the seminary to have a workshop means that our classes our canceled for a day, so we can listen to a speaker. This was one of the best ones we've had in a long time. The recordings
of the conferences are available at the Kenrick podcast site listed to here on the blog.
I'm personally very impressed with the new translation of the Roman Missal that is coming - which is a good thing for me since I don't really have a choice in the matter. One of the most striking changes is the response to "The Lord be with you" which is going to change to "and with your spirit." Now, this is going to be difficult to change our habits, but the meaning is much deeper than "and also with you." The bishops' website explains that "and with your spirit" refers directly to the spirit of ordination that is conferred upon the priests and deacons - thus the phrase "the Lord be with you" is reserved to priests and deacons for this reason.
Parallel to the people telling the priest or deacon "and with your spirit", the phrase "the Lord be with you" is an encouragement and reminder to all of us to purify our hearts before participating in the sacrifice of the Mass and hearing the Word of God.
Coming soon, I'll post the homily I had to give for class where I mentioned this new translation.
Guardian Angels chant
I've mentioned before that we at Kenrick are blessed to have an amazing musician, composer, and chant master named Fr. Samuel Weber, O.S.B. Besides being an internationally known composer and arranger and scholar of chant, he also has the difficult job of teaching us seminarians to chant.
To the left here is an example of Fr. Weber trying to teach us to chant an antiphon for the feast day of the Guardian Angels on Saturday. If you listen to the end, you'll here him critiquing and encouraging us to chant better - it's worth it if you take the time to listen to it - he's pretty funny with us.
Fr. Weber is also involved in doing many arrangements for the new Roman Missal that will be used beginning November 2011. We just had a workshop by the executive director of the group in charge of the translations (ICEL) - when those talks are online, I'll do a post about it.
-Peace, and may the angels watch over us.
Kenrick Lions Soccer Victorious
A good week all around for Wichita seminarian soccer. The Mount St. Mary's won their own tournament with Paul Saghbene scoring a goal, and Kenrick won their first game of the season this Sunday.
This past Sunday was our season opener for the Kenrick Lions 2010 soccer season. We were victorious against the "1.21 Gigawats" team, also known as the red team. The picture here is actually from last year, but it's a good picture of what the game was like (that's me with the header). Don't, take my word for it, however, this is what our coach said:
"I'll give the game ball, however, to David Voss, who was a terror to our foes. He gave no quarter, and near the end of the game the other team got so frustrated they started punching him...."