Prior's Journal: May 9-24, 2010

Graduation: Ending and beginnings

Graduation. May 16, 2010 marked the end of another good year for our seminarians. As happens each year some of our twenty-five graduates have discerned that they are not called to the ordained priesthood and will be dropping out of seminary formation. The majority of the class, however, have indicated to their bishops that they are eager to pursue theological studies either in this country or in Rome. We always feel that we have been successful in working for the good of the Church when we have truly helped our seminarians to make a very positive and prayerful discernment concerning their vocation.

Community Retreat:

Again our community gathered for our annual retreat which extended from May 17- May 21. The retreat conferences were given by Fr. Ronald Witherup PSS who is the Superior General of the Sulpician Order. This religious order specializes in providing initial and ongoing formation to diocesan priests throughout the country and around the world. Fr. Ron is a well-known and published New Testament Scripture scholar who brought his expertise in the writings of St. Paul to examine the connections between the thought of St. Paul and St. Benedict in the Holy Rule. He seemed to feel very much at home while he was with us and we appreciated his scholarship and his spirituality. There was some concern whether he would arrive in time for the retreat since his flight from Paris was threatened to be delayed or cancelled due to the volcanic ash in the atmosphere. The abbot had to have a Plan B in place in case of a last minute cancellation. We are glad that Plan B was not necessary.

Summer activities:

With the students gone a variety of maintenance projects swing into full operation around the campus. The construction of new sidewalks and a handicap ramp next to the library entrance shows good progress. A major project of replacing and paving the entrance road from the basilica parking lot to the garage area will be a welcome improvement. It will, however, remove the great challenge of trying to dodge the large potholes in the present road!

Abbey guard dog:

We have hulking form in white fur keeping watch during these summer nights. This past year the CMC Brothers at St. Scholastica’s House acquired a white "puppy" which they and everyone one campus came to know as Bandit. This is no ordinary puppy and at eight months of age is now well on his way to his full statue as a Great Pyrenees Sheep dog. Since the brothers decided not to take it with them for the summer we have inherited, for the time being, this "still in training" watch dog. So if you hear an occasional deep throated "Woof, Woof" during the night, its just Bandit letting us know that he is indeed on duty.

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