19 May 2005

The Big Move

With ordination now - God willing - just ten short days away the grace of the Holy Spirit must surely be working for only real pressing concerns and worries at the present are the issues surrounding my move out of Mundelein Seminary.

From the beginning of the planned move out of my move most all of my plans have fallen fall through. Now I have rented a U-Haul and will move most everything out of my room tomorrow morning and store my things - including some thirty boxes of books - with friends in Springfield until I learn of my first assignment and can move in.

It is a very frustrating and aggravating process, packing. I cannot say that I really would recommend it to anybody as an activity for pleasure but only as one for penance and for those in Purgatory.

After Mass this afternoon in a little more than two hours I will - hopefully - load the majority of the remainder of my belongings - expecting a few books, clothes, toiletries, shoes, vestments, and my computer - into the U-Haul for the journey tomorrow morning.

Once I have packed up the truck I will be able to take up my carpet and turn over a couple of chairs and tables to other seminarians who will inherit them as did I. I must say that I feel very strange sitting in my room across from the wall my large bookcase once stood. The room seems so very empty without my books . . .

I think now I will go for a walk around the lake before Mass and then prepare myself to serve as deacon this afternoon. After supper I will then begin tedious packing venture and then go for a swim and then probably watch the behind the scenes footage from the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Perhaps - if I can arrange it - I may see Star Wars Episode IV: The Return of the Sith, but only if we do not leave for Springfield in the morning until 10:00 or so.

Peace and Joy!

11 May 2005

A Midafternoons Walk

Yesterday, in the middle of the afternoon, being some eighty degrees and sunny outside, the time had come for a walk around the lake. The day thus far had been one filled with paperwork and frustration and I needed to get away from it all and enjoy some peace and quiet.

As I set out on my little journey around the lake, I all but immediately stumbled upon a sight I had not yet seen in my years on campus: two adult geese bookending, as it were, four small, newly hatched goslings. It was a charming sight to see the six of them waddle across the road and go gently into the water under the shade of an evergreen tree. I stood on the bridge going over the lake and watched the family for several minutes just taking it in. I was reminded of the many encounters St. Francis of Assisi had with geese in the fields and how he encouraged them to sing praise to Lord. After urging them to do the same, I continued on my venture.

About halfway around the lake I noticed a van approaching that slowed down and rolled down its window as it neared me. There were two marines inside who lived and worked on a base not far from the seminary. They were recruiters who saw the sign for the University of St. Mary of the Lake who wondered what kind of university it was. I spent several good minutes talking with them and had a delightful conversation with them. When we parted ways, I spent the rest of my walk praying for them and for the members of the military throughout the world.

These two experiences during the course of my walk filled me with peace and with joy and brought great relief to what was becoming a stressful day. Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks to him and serve him with great humility!

07 May 2005

The End of the Year

I now have completed my Reconciliation and Mass practicum courses and so the last of my preparations for the priesthood here at the seminary come to a close. It is a time both of sadness and of great joy. I will truly miss my brother classmates whom I have been privileged these past few years. They are men of great faith of zeal and will serve the Lord in love and devotion. I am honored to be numbered among them.

In just a few hours the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary will hold its Convocation and will award certificates and diplomas. I am to be granted both a Bachelors of Sacred Theology (S.T.B) and a Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) today. This will be the last time that I will see a number of my classmates until we return to the seminary in the Fall for a brief visit. I pray the Lord will grant us the perseverence to keep in close contact with each other.

Pray for us in these final days before priestly ordination.

02 May 2005

It's May!

Happy May Day and Feast of St. Joseph!

It was my hope today, as has become a sort of little custom for me, to celebrate May Day in my own fashion by watching the musical Camelot, paying careful attention for the song, "It's May." The song has been a favorite of mine for some years now, as have all of the songs of the musical, but today May Day just was not the same.

In part, because I had to settle with only listening to the musical rather than watching it because my movies are currently packed up in boxes and sitting in the hallway outside of my room, and in part because the temperature here in Mundelein did not rise above a very cool and dismal forty-five degrees. Hardly a proper way to begun the pleasant and splendid month of frolicking and rejoicing in the joys of a full-blown Spring!