Friday, June 1, 2012
A few by-the-way notes:
1. The telephone number at St. Fidelis Friary is (785) 735-9456. There is no direct extension for any of the brothers in formation. To reach me, you'll have to talk first to a resident friar who will then page me, if I am around. The best time to talk will be in the afternoon, between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern time. On weekdays, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday are best. I will be at ministry all day on Thursday and Friday. You can also reach me on most Saturday or Sunday afternoons in the same window as during the week.
Do you have a camera and microphone on your computer? We have installed Skype on three of the friary computers, which means we can also talk face-to-face. Let me know if you're interested in having an occasional Skype chat.
2. We have toured the three ministry sites we will be serving this spring and summer. They are Via Christi, a senior nursing care center in Hays; Habitat for Humanity of Ellis County; and Dream Inc., a summer camp for children of parents who struggle with addictions or serious chronic illness. The original intention was to cycle the brothers through each of the ministries over our two-month stay, but instead we will work at just one ministry for the duration of the program. Each brother has informed the formators of his ministry preferences. This evening we will receive our assignments.
3. We have toured the city of Hays itself, with the friendly guides of the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau. We learned that before the rise of the notorious Dodge City, there was Hays City, as rough and tumbling a frontier town as there ever was. We passed by the "boot hill" cemetery, where scoundrels and knaves were committed to the earth and commended to their Creator. We saw Fort Hays, which was an active post from 1865 to 1887. We saw Fort Hays State University. We saw many limestone buildings, and many limestone statues from Hays' artist-in-residence, Pete Felten. Most memorable for me: we saw live buffalo.
4. Orientation concludes this evening. We've been talking about the program philosophy, with an extended focus on expectations of sharing in relationships, public versus private disclosure, and external versus internal forum. We have also been talking about chores and fraternal service. We have been assigned to house chore teams and kitchen crews. We have been given liturgical assignments, with rotation of roles (prayer leader, lector, antiphoner, sacristan, cantor, altar server, cup-bearer, etc.).
5. Been keeping quiet today, being mindful of the quality of my presence in physical, mental, and spiritual work. Prayer, fraternal interaction, prayer, fraternal interaction, reading, resting, reading, resting, exercising, computing, prayer, fraternal interaction, prayer, etc.
Et cetera, et cetera. From "and so on" into Amen and Alleluia. It is time for meditation and evening prayer.