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As has become an occasional tradition, I'm posting 12 pictures on the 12th of the month. This was/is a fad among bloggers. Maybe nobody does it anymore, but I feel as if I haven't really given you a sense of what it's like to be in my shoes. So here you go, a Sunday in the life of a seminarian at Kenrick.
My alarm sounded at 5:45 a.m. On Sundays, Kenrick students leave the seminary to serve in various capacities in local parishes. That means getting up early for a commute to my parish, 30 miles or so to the west of the seminary.
After showering and getting ready, I head down these steps on my way to the parking lot.
Before Brian and I go out to our parish assignment, he had to scrape frost off his windshield. That is a first this season in St. Louis.
On our commute westward, we cross over the Missouri River. It reminds me of home.
St. Gianna Parish is a newly-formed parish in a rapidly growing part of the St. Louis area. This office/warehouse has been partly converted into a nice temporary church for the new parish. In several years, they will construct their own church. Brian and I have the privilege of serving here at the founding of the parish.
Before the 8:00 a.m. Mass, we make sure everything is prepared and set up. This is a picture in the sacristy.
Sorry, no pictures of the Mass. It's tough to take pictures when I'm serving near the altar. On the Sundays I have been here, I have started to know some of the people. Generally, this is an enjoyable time. Between the 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Masses the church is quiet and empty. I took time, pictured above, to pray the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer.
After prayer I spent some time in the office, studying for a test I have this week.
The second Mass went well and was followed by the first Baptism performed in the Church, according to the deacon assigned there. Brian and I commuted back to the seminary. We had a special guest speaking at the seminary today, but before the 4:00 meeting I took advantage of the nice weather to go for a short walk on the path nearby, pictured above.
Our special guest was Cardinal Francis Arinze, the Roman Catholic Church's chief liturgist and Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments. That lengthy title would need to be longer yet to illustrate this man's importance in shaping how Catholics worship around the globe. We were very fortunate to have several opportunities this week to speak with him and to listen to him speak. He was asked several times to discuss the use of Latin in the Mass and the (no longer permitted) practice of allowing lay people to purify (clean) chalices used during Mass. Both current points of discussion in the Church these days.
After the first conference with Cardinal Arinze, he led Solemn Vespers (Evening Prayer) in the main chapel. It was beautifully done. Our choir can be quite impressive at times (probably because I'm not in it).
After Vespers, a delicious catered dinner was served. This is the table I sat at. There were many priests visiting to listen to the Cardinal's speeches. Being one of the seminarians, I waited tables and served the priests who were visiting.
After dinner we all attended yet another talk by Cardinal Arinze. After all this activity, I was able to relax in front of my computer and post this blog.