Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Abbey Visit {High School Seminary Parents' Day}

Peter picks up the flute and joins the high school seminary orchestra.

Some things just feel right, even though difficult, painful, or requiring great sacrifice.  Peter's attending high school seminary this year as an 8th grader is one of those things.  Our family and home school just isn't the same without Peter here, and the past few months adjusting to his absence have been both trying and rewarding.

Grandma Billie and Grandpa Cliff join Joseph, Peter and Father Peter, rector, after Sunday Mass.

Given that Peter comes home for a few days' stay each month, and that his orthodontic appliances require the occasional visit home for business' sake, we enjoy his company fairly regularly despite the miles and international border that distance us.  Peter uses a phone card and an old fashioned pay phone to call home every so often which offers the gift of instant communication that the one-week+ snail mail routine can't offer.  The students do not have access to the internet, so all other modern forms of staying in touch are out.

Peter, tour guide at Westminster Abbey, BC

A few times each year, the high school seminarian host a performance for parents and families showcasing their orchestra and elocution programs.  Combined with the show, parents are able to visit with the monks who teach the seminarians and receive important feedback about their son(s)' grades, behavior and adjustment to community life at the monastery.

Peter performs on stage in an adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

An added bonus to any visit to the monastery is the open invitation to join the community for chanted Liturgy of the Hours.  Sounding bells from high above in the abbey's tower alert everyone when the time for prayer draws near.  On our recent visit for Parents' Day festivities, Peter shared his prayer book with his Grandma Billie and Grandpa Cliff, who were visiting the abbey for the first time.

Showing us around the beautiful campus on a break between Mass and midday prayer, Peter shared his favorite viewpoint, hidden away behind the seminary.  We also made a stop at the cemetery, to continue our All Souls Octave prayers for the holy souls in purgatory.  The little cemetery saw many visitors that day on account of this special season of remembrance.

Brothers reunited for the day
Father Peter, harpist, shares his instrument with a seminarian's siblings on Parents' Day.

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