Wednesday, May 8, 2013

a day at the North American College

Dear Family and Friends,
On Sunday my fellow seminarians and I went to the North American College for a day of fraternity and competition. It’s a tradition that goes back many years.
Before mass in the NAC Chapel
We started the day with mass together in the seminary chapel. When it came time for the entrance song, I opened my hymnal, and lo and behold, the ribbon was there on the right page. I thought “that’s got to be a fluke,” then I looked in a few more hymnals. Somebody had taken the time to put the ribbons in the right place in every single hymnal. These guys do details!
After the beautiful mass, complete with phenomenal singing by the NAC choir, we headed out to the sports fields for our 3 sport tournament: Ultimate Frisbee, Softball, and Basketball. As luck would have it, the rain started just as we kicked off the Frisbee. It was a grueling game, with each side taking the lead at different points, but the NAC ended up winning soundly 17-12. I did my best, but those guys sure know how to throw a Frisbee! On their jerseys they have a graphic of a priest diving for a catch – and that they knew how to do!

Consolation after our loss was the smorgasbord they cooked up. It’s always a BYOB event. (Bring your own brownies) The NAC guys come over to our seminary every 12th of December, we provide the food, and they provide the brownies. Every May, we go to their seminary, we bring the brownies, and they provide the food. And what food! I haven’t had a burger that big in a long time, not to mention the sausages and incredible toppings – it was a royal barbecue.
Softball - Brother Nathan scores
But the rain kept pouring. Softball started as the rest of us munched on our burgers. I got a chance to catch up with my grade-school friend Father Michael Houser, who lives in Rome. Our Softball team managed to beat the NAC 12-6, mainly on the strength of our captain’s incredible backwards-spin pitch. It was the first time since 1996 that we have managed to beat the NAC in Softball.
NAC Commentators
The NAC provided music and a running commentary on all the events, which kept things lively.
More Basketball
Just as Softball was finishing, the rain let up. Two NAC squeegee guys ran out and dried off the basketball court, and the game began. The NAC pulled ahead at the beginning, but our guys came back to tie it with 10 seconds left. In the end, they made a decisive free throw, and the NAC took the day with a 43-42 victory.
Basketball - we're in red
So overall that’s NAC 2, us 1. There’s always another day.
But more than the games and the great food, it was a blessing just to be able to spend this day with my brother seminarians from across America. We may have what look like different missions, but we’re certainly all united in our love for God and his Church, and all we want to do is serve God’s people and bring them to Him. Getting to know so many fine young men studying to be priests gives me a lot of hope for the future of our country.
Today is the feast of Our Lady of Luj├ín, patroness of Argentina. Here at my seminary it’s a feastday (better food, more celebration) in honor of our Argentinian seminarians, and I’d be willing to bet that Pope Francis is celebrating too. Feel free to join him – go ahead and have that cupcake!
God bless you all,
Brother Kevin