On the second Monday of each month this year, we will hear from one of the seminarians from Moreau Seminary. Kicking this series off is someone already well-known to our Spes Unica followers -- Mr. Brian Ching, C.S.C., who blogged for us last year on his experiences at St. John Vianney Parish and now returns to Moreau as the Dean of the Seminarians. The timing of his post is quite providential because, as Brian fills us in, this year's new crop of seminarians arrives tomorrow! So please keep them in your prayers!
Tomorrow we await the arrival the second important group to our seminary community, the candidates. These twelve men have courageously decided to spend a year of their lives discerning whether or not God is calling them to the vowed life in Holy Cross and to open their hearts to listen to God's voice in a formation community. These men are signs of hope for all of us because they are reminders that young men are still listening for the voice of God in their lives and are still attracted to the vowed religious life as a way of answering that call.
Aside from the unpacking and settling in, the most important part of these first days of August is the fostering of those bonds of fraternity that tie us together in Holy Cross. For some of us, this process is just a catching up on how the summer went. For others, it means the first sharing of stories of their Novitiate experience (stories I might add, that will be told repeatedly throughout their lives in Holy Cross). Yet for all of us, it means getting to know those new members of our community, and giving them a chance to get to know us. To that end, after all the unpacking and room arranging is done, the seminarians leave on Thursday for a week of getting to know one another known as "Deer Porte" or simply "camp."
Seminarians have been starting the school year with "camp" (albeit in different places) since the 1930's and it is now a venerable tradition in the life of the seminary, however it is difficult to explain exactly what it is. Camp is part retreat, part orientation, and part just having fun together. It is important that we begin the year with camp because it is a way for us to develop or redevelop those relationships that are so important to us during our time in formation and indeed our entire lives in Holy Cross. Camp gives us an opportunity to deepen our relationship with the Lord, with our formation staff, and with each other.
As we begin this new formation year, the seminary community sincerely asks for your prayers and we devotedly assure you of ours.