Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Busy Week at "The Joe"

Hello there ladies and gents, this is my first post to the blog, but hopefully not my last. For those of you who don't know me, my name is Ben Rexroat, and I am a seminarian for the diocese of Gaylord. I am finishing up my second year of seminary here in Columbus and the Josephinum. I will be finishing up my philosophical studies this spring and will begin Theology this fall here at the Josephinum.
My Team, the Krazy Kopes

It has been a busy week here at the Josephinum. Last Saturday (St Patrick's day) the theologate (the part of the seminary where both the theology and pre-theology seminarians live) threw our spring trivia night. I was on one of the trivia teams and although we didn't win, we had a lot of fun. Our team consisted of (from left to right in the picture) a seminarian from Phoenix Arizona, a seminarian from Arlington Virginia, a Passionist priest, a Diocesan priests from California, and myself. Both the priests are Theology faculty members here at the Josephinum.  We were definitely the most fun team, being the only team that had costumes (although we may have done a little better if we spent more time on studying trivia and less time on making costumes). The topics ranged from the rock and roll hall of fame to quotes of saints and popes. It was a great night of fraternity with our brother seminarians and with the priest faculty, many of whom attended.

Last week was very warm down here in Columbus, and signs of spring are everywhere on campus. Leaves are sprouting the daffodils and dogwood trees are blooming and everything is that new spring green. Of course there are other signs of spring here at the Josephinum as well. It doesn't take long after the
Dcn. Peter Wigton about to hit a single
weather gets nice for impromptu softball games to spring up. One of my favorite things about seminary is how the ordinary things become extraordinary by the seamless flow from fun to prayer. Everything we do culminates in prayer, even a simple softball game on a Sunday afternoon. Every time this happens I think that this is how the world should be, where every aspect of life, from the serious to the silly, is all a part of our relationship with God. Where nothing is too mundane to be offered up to Him for His greater glory.
Closing Prayer (my favorite part)

The Fishermen telling fishy tales
Of Course it wouldn't be spring at the Josephinum if guys weren't out fishing at Lake George (no, we do not actually have a lake on campus, Lake George is a pond, and not a particularly large one at that). Probably our most avid fisherman is a our head spiritual director, I got a chuckle walking through the hall and seeing his fishing pole leaned up against the door to his office with a tackle box and bait. I think even Father Don has fished in Lake George during a visit.

With warm weather comes a spring storm or two and we even had a tornado warning this past week. We all gathered down in the basement and prayed a rosary. By the time the rosary was over, so was the worst of the storm. Again, it is so great to be in a place where our our faith and our daily activities are so integrated... where God is central to all we do.
Weathering the storm
Part of what made this week so busy was two feast days that are particularly important here at the Josephinum. The first was the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, who is the patron saint of the Josephinum. That day we have very beautiful liturgies and a formal lunch where we honored our faculty and staff who have served the Josephinum for a number of years or in a particularly distinguished way over the last year. Also, Friday was the commemoration of St. Turibius. I had never even heard of St. Turibius before I came to seminary, so don't feel to bad if you haven't either. He is a pretty amazing fellow though, so I suggest you look him up. He was the first known saint of the new world and the Archbishop of Lima for 26 years. He is special here at the Jospehinum because he is the patron of our main chapel. So on Friday we again had very beautiful liturgies and had our statue of St. Turibius in a prominent place in the chapel. To cap off the busy week, they guys from Gaylord got together Saturday afternoon for a cookout to grow closer together as hopefully (God willing) future brother priest of the diocese. The business wasn't over for me though, since later on that evening was the seminarian pop-culture symposium (which I chaired this time) on fatherhood. I gave talk about the images of absentee fatherhood in films and particularly in the song Cat's in the Cradle and how it should be a warning to future priests. We had five other presenters and overall I think the night was a great success.

It is not all fun and games (and prayer) here at the Josephinum though. As busy as last week was, I have four tests and a boatload of Latin homework to do this week. The nice thing is that at the end of this week is a break. It won't be long before I will be back in the diocese for the first time since Christmas break. Between coming home and Easter, I have a lot to look forward to... I am truly blessed.

Ben Rexroat