Sunday, September 28, 2008

My First Real Pictures!

I hope everyone is doing well! Here are the first real pictures from the Seminary. I cannot believe I have been here 5 weeks already! The good news is soon we will be 1/2 way to Christmas break, December 11th! The bad news is there are a lot of papers to be written between then and now.

I figured the first pictures should be of my room. Note how clean it is (everything is under the bed and in the closet, shhhhhhhh don't tell anyone). On my bed I have a pile of absentee ballot applications. I led a registration drive last week and registered about 30 guys to vote. Tomorrow I send them all off in the mail.

Note the first pictures of Bellringer 6 in the wild. He was very cooperative and even swam to the top so I could get a good picture. I think he was smiling.

Catch you all later!

(the crazy fun pictures as voted for on the blog are yet to come)

Pictures Tomorrow, Help Needed!

I finally will be posting photos tomorrow after much delay.

On another note I need some help. I have decided I want to add some creativity to life this week and am looking for some fun ideas. You know how school sometimes can get mundane in the daily grind of work. Well seminary is no different. It has been a busy week with papers and a rainy weekend (which I understand is the case for NH). The combination has made life a little boring this weekend. It is suppossed to rain tomorrow too. AHHHHHHH

As I am a big believer in making your own fun, I figure it is time to have some fun and a brilliant idea is in order. Not having any I turn to you for suggestions.

On a side note Monday should be a big day as I will get my first paper back. I am a little nervous as it is for Philosophy. However, the professor is really an awesome guy and wants you to do well. He even will allow one rewrite so that you can get it right. Hopefully he will not have many suggestions, although it is likely he will have plenty.

Tomorrow I have to finish a paper, clean my room, do laundry and get my first haircut in Baltimore. The haircut prospect is a little nerve racking as everyone else around here seems to be getting really bad ones. I am not sure where to go as everyone seems to be having bad luck. There is nothing worse than getting a bad hair cut!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Birthday!

I will be posting again later tonight but could not let today pass without wishing a special Happy Birthday to the greatest fan of bellringers ever to attend Trinity High School (besides me of course- as this is a public blog I will not post this current Sophomore's name, but you know who you are- if you need a hint and are a current Trinity student... cross the story of the prodigal son and one's enthusiasm for bellringers...). As this blog is 1/2 bellringers I needed to make special mention. In your honor. I am posting a bellringer J.F.Y.B. Just for Your Birthday. Who could ask for a better present?

In 3/4's of page describe the perfect theology themed birthday party.

p.s. I might suggest writing it down and passing it out when you celebrate tonight.

p.p.s. Seriously- have a great birthday (you can thank one of your teachers for this posting, they mentioned it was your birthday and I knew it needed to be recognized)!

* if you are not one of my former students and are reading this blog, sorry this posting is an inside joke.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Party, Pounds and Polls

Things continue to go well! The Birthday Party Friday was sweet! After a beautiful Mass we had a huge reception and dinner with about 150 seminarians and priests. In a weird turn of fate i ended up at a table with a priest with a Trinity connection. Msgr. McKenna from the Theological College Seminary in Washington,D.C. sat at my table and was a close friend to Ovide and Bettie Lamontagne, in fact performed their wedding. Ovide is a Trinty grad and won the Campus Ministry Award at last year's banquet. Brittany Lamontagne graduated two years ago. It is a small world indeed.

On another note I was excited to attend the special dinner because I had the chance to abandon my diet for the night. That's right I am on a diet. Shocking I know. I am eating carefully at every meal, the food is very bad for you and very good in taste. Dessert at lunch and dinner, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I am walking 2-3 miles a day and trying to swim a few times a week. The end result is I have lost 11 pounds. My goal is to lose twenty by Thanksgiving/Christmas. I will keep you up to date. Losing weight is nice, the more important thing is that I am eating well and excercising.

It looks like the poll results indicate I should be preparing some photos for you soon. I will try for this weekend.

-Good Night :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Video Link!

When we first arrived at Seminary last month some of the guys made an wicked funny orientation video. Below is a link to part of it where they spoof Star Wars. The two main characters are seminarians, the final figure a very funny member of the faculty. Enjoy the clip and a little look at the back of the building.

-Time to write another paper :(

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

September 17th

Today is one month from my birthday! Oh by the way my address has just been added to the left portion of my blog. This of course is not meant to be a ploy to get care packages. Did I mention my birthday is one month away.

Well after a few days of computer craziness I am back online. Things this week have been busy as ever. Today I began my "apostolate" at a local center for learning. Each week I will be volunteering Wednesdays to help people, who never graduated from high school, earn their G.E.D.'s.

As soon as I arrived this morning I was quickly welcomed by a sweet nun. Moments later I heard the very words that brought a shiver to my spine, "you will be in charge of math." NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, I thought, dare I say better philosophy than that. I was suddenly having flashbacks to high school and being in the back of the classroom having no idea what the teacher was talking about. Not sure if any of you have had that experience or not? You know the feeling when you are so confused that you feel good about a test you are doomed to flunk. You convince yourself you know what you are talking about, you even study, but you are all wrong. I once got a 27 on a math test I studied for. I even was put on probation for the National Honor Society five minutes after being inducted because my math grade was so low (sorry mom, I never told you about that..... I must have forgot..... kind of like the time I forgot to give you my progress report until the middle of Christmas Eve Mass because I knew you could not kill me in the presence of God....although you almost did in God's driveway....)But I digress.

I began working with a group of women in fractions and learned so much from them. They wanted to do pass the test so badly so that they could receive their diplomas. Both of them had dropped out of high school and had always wanted to go back because they could not get jobs without a diploma. It was very uplifting to help but very sad. It was a reminder to me of how lucky I was to be able to go to and finish school. I could not help but think of how different life is for so many people out there. I always see life through my own eyes, but don't stop often enough to think how privileged they are. Later that day I worked with someone who was in their sixties and learning to read. I can only say I was humbled to be in the presence of such an amazing and powerful man.

Perhaps, I should remember how lucky I truly am tonight when I do my Philosophy homework. arghhh!

On a side note we are gearing up for a big day on Friday and a party. We are celebrating Seminary style. For those of you hoping for it to be wild and crazy please understand those are relative terms. We are having a special Mass and reception to celebrate the founder of the Sulpicians (they run the seminary) 400th birthday. All of the Seminarians from the Theological College in D.C. will be joining us as will Archbishop Wuerl. I will keep you posted as I will be sure to be the life of the 400th birthday party. (former students: please imagine listening to my favorite birthday song-remix now)

Off to work!

(blogs to follow: my diet (no I am serious), exercise(really I am not joking), pictures of my room and a new poll with some ideas for the blog)

Computer Trouble?

I accidently changed a setting on my computer which has made it impossible for me to access the blog for the past two days. I just solved the problem and am back. Hope to post later tonight. Sorry for the delay

Sunday, September 14, 2008


This week in one of my classes we have been looking at the role of beauty in the world. In studying beauty we have been looking particularly at what beauty says about its creator. In particular we have seen how everything that exists in the world bears the imprint of its creator. It reflects that which made it.

The examples one of our authors used was children, sculptures, music, painting and lava. He explained how children reflect their parents, sharing their genes, physical features, etc... He then went on to discuss how the arts reflects the minds, emotions and feelings of the artist. In fact as I type this I am listening to some beautiful classical music that reflects the mind of the composer and the vision that travels within. Even something as simple as lava, reflects the energy and the elements that make it up.

What was the point of the author? If everything that exists in the world, is created in some manner or the another (whether through chemical interaction, the workings of an artist's mind) and nothing comes from pure chance. Than imagine what the beauty of the earth and all its creation says about the ultimate creator. It is late I am going to bed and have likely butchered the concept, but think about. All things bear the imprint of their creators. We need not look far to see the beauty of ours.

I hope you enjoyed the photos from places I have lived or visited the past few years.

Marathon Results

Well I have good news and bad news. The good news is I completed three papers, the bad news is I fell one shy of my goal. Not to worry I have actually started them well in advance and have plenty of breathing room left. I am hoping that I can complete the 4th one this week and be caught up with a week to spare. I will keep you posted on that account.

Friday, September 12, 2008

4 Paper Marathon

I am just starting a marathon to write 4 papers in less than 24 hours. I hope to finish by this time tomorrow. If I do I will be updating the blog and posting something good. In the meantime say some prayers that I don't get writer's block and that my brain is filled with brilliance.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Putting Things Off!

Do you ever have one of those days when you just don’t do what you know you need to? You know the type of days when you occupy yourself with everything else but what needs to be done. For me today started out to be one of those days. I had two simple homework assignments which I needed to attend to. As we essentially have Wednesdays off as a work day, pretty sweet I know, this task should have been very easy. Well it is 2:35pm and I have yet to do what I needed to do. I had a wonderful morning which began with Mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Louisville (he seems like a real nice guy). Following Mass I had a quick breakfast and ran to pay my bills. When I returned I had long lunch, and then returned to my room. It was there that I checked my email, read the newspaper, cleaned my room (yes, for real), cleaned bellringer's tank (note: do not accidently poor the fish out with the water, I did and he was real hard to scoop up as he was jumping around the sink-not to worry he is safely in water now, although I do admit I was a little scared he was going to flop himself down the open drain!) and even vacuumed. I imagine all of you know exactly what I am talking about.
Somehow I can find time to check email, text message friends, relax, watch tv, go for a walk, socialize, eat, eat some more, eat again, and again, and yet not for homework. Why is it so hard to find time to do what you don’t want to do and yet so easy to waste time. Time seemingly is abundant supply when you aren’t doing anything, yet in short supply when you need it most. It is so easy to crowd things out of our lives, things that should not be, things like homework. It seems as if the more you need to carve time out for it, the easier it is not to. Know what I mean? Seriously the greater my need grows; the less I desire to make it happen.
Thinking about my own relationship with God, I can’t help but wonder if all of our prayer lives are like this. Something that needs our immediate attention, something that helps us grow and something that is so easy to put off, rush through or even to pretend it does not exist. Yet in the end, without prayer we are not in a good place at all. One of the things they try to teach us at the Seminary is to put our prayer lives first. Through a rhythm of daily prayer they help us organize our lives in this manner. For me the greatest prayers I have offered thus far are from the bottom of my heart when I visit the empty chapel late at night. There in the silence God waits for me and there in the silence he whispers to my heart. Each and every day I am here I become increasingly aware of this whisper, the love that it entails and its presence in each and every one of us.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Typical Day

Many of you have emailed asking what a typical day is like, so here was today in a recap.

7:00am Wake-Up
7:05am Think about getting out of bed
7:10am Five more minutes
7:15am Get Up
7:35am Dressed and Ready to go (I have to wear a shirt and tie to class each day)
7:40am Breakfast (Raisin Bran, Yogurt & a cup of tea)
7:55am Head to the Chapel
8:00am Morning Prayer
8:30am My First Class- History of Philosophy- (ahhhh, not to bad today it actually
made sense)
9:45am Class ends :) Head to the Cafeteria for a glass of lemonade
9:55am Fundamentals of Catholicism Class (mostly lecture, but interesting!)
11:15am Class ends :) Head to the library for a quick read of the paper
11:30am Mass
12:15pm Lunch (ham sandwich on 12 grain bread + bowl of potato soup)
1:00pm Check the mail, have none :(
1:10pm Head to my room to drop off my books
1:15pm Get an email with names of Spiritual Directors to choose from
1:16pm Quick call Father John, a priest on the list, the only one who worked in
a school. Figured he would be a good match. Not there, left message (he
can only take one person)
1:20pm Head to my new bank to withdraw money to pay bills. No money
Am mad, call the bank, apparently when at this bank when you open an
account they hold your checks for two weeks. Who does that? Not happy,
try to be forgiving like Jesus, want to throw stones instead, settle for
grumbling here (Wednesday will make two weeks :) Wednesday will also be
the day I close my account and go to Bank of America instead, they were nice

1:30pm Get back to my room, Father John calls, we set up a meeting

1:35pm Begin reading boring packet
1:36pm Wish I wasn't
1:38pm Still wish I wasn't

2:30pm Check email

2:55pm Panic and realize I have a 3:00pm class, run down four flights of stairs

3:05pm Realize class does not begin until 3:25pm

3:06pm Realize I am a fool

3:25pm Prayer/Priesthood Class begins (love it, great priest teaching it,
enjoyable and fun)

5:00pm Head to Chapel

5:15pm Evening Prayer

5:45pm We say Prayers in the lobby around a statue of Mary

5:50pm Dinner (chicken + pasta + iced tea - not bad)

6:00pm Read Time Magazine

6:15pm Continue with Homework

7:15pm Miss call

7:25pm Get Photo text message of my friends and fellow seminarians eating ice
cream, with the message "you should have answered this call"

7:45pm Go to the Pharmacy to turn in a prescription (I am allergic to something)

8:15pm Head on my nightly 2.5 mile walk

9:00pm Return and spend some time in the chapel

9:25pm Chat with the guys in my hall

9:35pm Check email

9:45pm Work on blog

10:25pm Will get ready for bed, say prayers, read some more, watch some tv and
head to bed

11:30pm zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Still have not finished my philosophy reading. I wonder if it will make more sense if i read it in another languag. AHHHHHHH

(On a side note it was a strange weekend. Saturday we had tons of rain, as I imagine most of you did. Sunday was incredibly beautiful! I was able to attend Mass at the Shrine of the Little Flower, a beautiful area parish.- more to follow on this tomorrow)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I hate homework

It is a Saturday night and I will be spending some quality time with my Philosophy reading. I am not going to lie to you, I am not so excited about this prospect. I am not sure if any of you have ever had one of those subjects that just makes your head hurt or not, but philosophy class is that way for me. I am sure with a little time and patience it will make sense. However, at the present I think it would be easier to learn Chinese (sometimes I wonder if the class would make more sense in Chinese, even though I do not speak it, I would likely leave with the same understanding).

I know that the magical light bulb going off moment will come, I just hope it is quick.

On a side note the tropical storm coming up the coast did lend for one humorous moment. I opened my door to go to dinner and created a huge draft between my room and the guy across the hall. Ten seconds later it was a ticker tait (not sure the spelling on that one) parade in the hall way as all of his papers, bills, mail and the like were sucked into the hallway. I felt bad and picked them all up before he returned, none-the-less it was wicked cool to see.

Off to study! Like all good things in life, it will require some hard work.

Friday, September 5, 2008

My First Installment of Pictures

Sorry for the delay with these. Apparently I need a new cord for the camera. Not to worry I will be heading to the store this weekend. These are ones I borrowed from the guy next door.

I hope everyone has had a great week. It has been a long one here, but a good one. Today we had to have our idea photos taken. It was a little strange because I had to wear clerics, translation- the black shirt with white collar that a priest wears. Normally I am expected to wear a shirt and tie every day. Next year i will have to wear "clerics." It is hot down here and part of me wonders if wearing white would have felt better. Then again knowing me wearing white is not such a good idea, it would quickly be destroyed unless I wore a bib, not to mention the contrast with my tan would look funny.

I can't wait to post some pictures of the chapel tomorrow. It is an amazing place. There is nothing as calming as visiting and praying in an empty chapel late at night when you are stressed with work. I honestly wonder how much stronger everyone's faith would be if they had so a chapel to pray. In the end I suppose it is not the chapel that hears the prayers, but God and he is everywhere.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Room, St. Mary's + the Caf.

Okay so these aren't the pictures I have promised (mom, that is not my real room either). I thought I was all good with my camera and all, but I should have figured to check for the cord. The one I have is not the right one. The pictures I took are great! So my apologies to all you loyal readers. I am working on it. However, I suspect if you know me you won't be suprised :)

In a wierd twist tomorrow I am the reader for morning prayer. Guess what the reading is about, happiness not being in eating and drinking. Ironic, I love to eat. I guess they can never say God does not have a sense of humor.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


The First Pictures will be posted tomorrow. Get Ready!

Important Blog News:

Please note this blog will begin being regularly updated after August 21st (when I arrive in Baltimore).