Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Adventures on the Holy Hill: My Summer at Saint Meinrad

Living in a seminary building with nineteen other completely random college students, having a monk as your boss, and gaining the rare skill of sleeping through the 5:30am toll of the Archabbey bells. This is only a little of what I experienced over six weeks as a college intern for Saint Meinrad’s One Bread, One Cup Liturgical Leadership Conferences. I not only worked a lot, but I learned a lot this year as an intern for OBOC—so much so that writing a simple blog post almost seems insufficient. But, here it goes!

Quite a few people have been wondering exactly what I did for six weeks on the Holy Hill. Well, while it’s hard to explain, it is at least worthy of an attempt. Essentially, myself along with nineteen other college students from across the country spent six weeks together running three youth conferences that teach youth to become leaders in the Church and empower them to live out what they learn on the Hill. The conferences are made up of what I see to be three key components: Liturgical Formation, Theological Reflection, and Catechesis. In Liturgical Formation, the youth gain skills necessary to become leaders in several areas, including topics such as Proclamation of the Word, Chant for the Liturgy of the Hours, Liturgical Arts, and Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, among several others. These classes are taught by interns, monks, seminarians, or other guest catechists. In Theological Reflection, the youth are led by an intern who helps them reflect on the activities on the day, and discover how God is working in their lives. Finally, there is catechesis. OBOC is based upon the “Word, Sacrament, Mission” model. In other words, the youth are taught how they encounter the Word of God, they discover what a Sacrament is and why we have them, and finally learn the importance of spreading the Gospel. In addition, there are also catechetical sessions on topics such as Lectio Divina.

All of this happens specifically during the conferences. On the “off weeks,” the interns are in the classroom learning about several different topics. The topics I learned about included Benedictine Values, Spirituality, Boundaries, Theological Reflection, Lectio Divina, and Benedictine Integration, among several others. To put it simply, when the interns aren’t working the conferences, they are busy gaining the wisdom and formation that comes with the rich history of the Benedictine tradition.

One valuable lesson that I learned this summer is that we as a Church need to put more trust in our youth. They know more than we think they do! I always hear people saying that the youth are the future of our Church. In my opinion, that is wrong, because the youth ARE the Church. They are an integral part of the Body of Christ, and my experiences at OBOC can do nothing but prove this point.

In all, thanks to Saint Meinrad and OBOC, I’ve had a summer full of fun, memories, prayer, and blessings!

For more information on One Bread, One Cup, visit

(Photo:  Louisville seminarian Tony Cecil is on the far right.  With him are a conference participant, Novice Anushka and Br. John Mark Falkenhain, OSB.  Photo courtesy of St. Meinrad)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Where is Everyone?

Summer is a busy time for the seminarians. It's hard to keep up with everyone! Here's where our seminarians are for the summer:

Deacon Nick Brown--St. James, Elizabethtown
Deacon Chris Lubecke--St. Albert the Great
Deacon Steve Henriksen--Holy Trinity, Louisville
Adam Carrico--residing at Holy Trinity, Louisville and completing CPE at Baptist Hospital East
Peter Bucalo--Institute for Priestly Formation, (IPF), Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska
Jason Harris--Immaculate Heart of Mary
Sean McKinley--also at IPF in Omaha
Sean Raley--St. Bernadette
David Farrell--St. Margaret Mary
Casey Sanders--St. Michael
Willy Fernandez--in Bolivia, visiting family
Michael Martin--Sacred Heart Seminary in studies
Tony Cecil--"One Bread, One Cup" at St. Meinrad and assisiting in various programs around the Archdiocese

When the seminarians are stationed in parishes, they assist with pastoral duties of parish life: assisting at Masses, calls to hospitals and nursing facilities, Vacation Bible School, summer educational programs, RCIA, parish picnics...the list is endless! Our seminarians in educational programs experience aspects of counseling, prayer and spirituality amongst many other topics. In the next few weeks, we'll have some seminarians blog about their summer experiences.