Sunday, September 15, 2013

High School Seminary {Christ the King Admits Peter}

Peter hauls his gear to his new room at school.

Peter's big day finally arrived on September 4th, after months of discerning, wondering, praying and waiting ~ the day he officially entered grade 8 at the Benedictine High School Seminary in BC.  A packed schedule on move-in day included time for hauling and unpacking gear, community Midday Prayer in the Westminster Abbey Church, a shared potluck lunch in the dining hall, parent orientation sessions, book store stop, and many opportunities to visit with the parents of Peter's fellow seminarians and with the holy monks who will be Peter's teachers.

Peter unpacks his belongings while Tim and Joseph visit with a brother.

Consistent with every other visit to the Benedictine Monastery, our family was warmly greeted by the monks and shown outstanding, genuine Christian hospitality throughout the day.  Peter set right to work unloading his crates and settling into his new space, quite independently and without need of suggestions or assistance.  Gathered together in the foyer, a group of new 'monastery moms' like me shared the bittersweet experience of move-in day with long time monastery moms and dads.  One couple, parents to four sons currently living under St. Benedict's roof (one a professed Benedictine Monk and teacher), and the dad a graduate of the seminary himself, offered abundant insight, wisdom and love for the rest of us in our various stages of coming to terms with the impending good-byes.

The high school seminarians, together at midday prayer

Peter enjoys the company of his new friends at the family potluck luncheon on orientation day.

Father Abbot demonstrates true Benedictine hospitality, greeting parents and students, leading prayer and sharing a meal.

Abundant insight and loving direction for parents flowed freely in the orientation session following lunch.  Father Peter, Seminary Rector, gave an inspired talk on the mission of the school, beginning with a focus on the Benedictine charism of unity and community modeled after the Holy Trinity.  Father Peter brilliantly witnessed to the core teaching within the seminary, the central themes underlying all aspects of the formation offered there:  that each one is a beloved son of God, a loving Father who delights in each one; that becoming a good son/brother/student is to become a fit dwelling place for God; that the beginning and end of all male development is rooted in learning to be ever more like Jesus, life giver and lover. 

Father Abbot addresses the families before leading prayer prior to lunch, with Father Peter, Rector.
Father Abbot's words for the parents advanced the concepts touched upon by Father Peter, highlighting the areas of liturgical formation, prayer, and spiritual direction as keys to aiding the boys in their search for Truth, for an ever deepening relationship with Jesus Christ.
Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth. - John 17:17
Peter shows Tim his desk in the study hall classroom.

The hour of our departure coincided with Peter's transition from his first game of roller hockey to Evening Prayer and supper.  Time for our blessings, hugs, and a few parting words passed in a flash, and Peter set out for the locker room, hockey stick in hand, with a glance over his shoulder to call out cheerfully, "See you in October!"
One last photo together before leaving Peter in the care of St. Benedict and heading back home to the US.

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