Building Community, French style

Every Thursday night during the academic year, the formation communities from Moreau Seminary and Old College Undergraduate Seminary gather for Mass and a community dinner at Moreau to continue to build brotherhood among the seminarians and the finally professed in the community.

Later in the evening we gather back in the darkened Moreau Chapel for Lucernarium, a combination of Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours and the candle lighting ceremony of the Easter Vigil. Through beautifully sung hymns, preaching from temporarily professed seminarians, and the glowing light of the candles illuminating our night, we come together as a whole community to say good night to our Lord.

When we light our candle from our neighbor’s, they say, “Receive the light of Christ”, and we respond, “Thanks be to God.” In passing this light from one person to another, we remember, as it says in our Constitutions, that “we walk by Easter’s first light.” To end the service we turn as a community to our Blessed Mother knowing she is “our life, our sweetness, and our hope,” asking for her intercession and protection throughout our lives.

Food at the Les Miserables Soiree

In true Holy Cross style we end the evening with a soiree in the lower rec of Moreau. Every week a team of Old Collegians, Moreau Seminary candidates, and temporarily professed seminarians come up with a theme and decorate for this get-together. These themes vary from Oktoberfest to “Mary” to Les Misérables.

Les Miserables Soiree

The team of seminarians who recently planned the Les Misérables soiree was a top notch group of men who poured their hearts and souls into this theme, all for the sake of community of course. This soiree was so well-planned and executed that our own Fr. Drew Gawrych, C.S.C., exclaimed, “This might be in the top five of all time.” Complete with crepes, cheese, French bread, fondue and many other French treats, the soiree also featured the sound track from the musical and, of course, a barricade.

Consisting of tables, chairs, bicycle tires, a wheel chair, a printer, and a large picture of a whale, the barricade protected the Formation Community and its many guests from the French Army as we enjoyed each other’s companionship.

Barracade at Old College

Regardless of who wins the “best soiree” award (although I think it is pretty clear who is deserving!), Thursday evenings are the time that the Holy Cross Seminary Community has to come together, to forget about the rigors of our academics for a short while, and just enjoy ourselves with our brothers in Holy Cross, while giving glory to God. It is a beautiful way to remember the bigger picture and that we are never alone when we have our brothers around us and the Lord Jesus in our hearts.

Mr. Joe Krivos is a first year Old Collegian. He and the other seminarians at Old College Undergraduate Seminary contribute once a month to the Spes Unica blog, sharing on their life in the seminary. Learn more about the Old College Undergraduate Seminary and meet the Old Collegians who live there.

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