Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chicago, Chicago, that toddling town!

This past weekend I took a trip along with two of my friends from the summer seminary camps to go to visit St. Joseph's Seminary College on the Loyola University campus. The idea was for high school students to take a trip down to see how college seminary life is down in Chicago, staying over night, shadowing students in their Theology, History and Psychology classes and just generally getting to know other men who are discerning God's call and have made the decision to go from high school to a seminary college preparing students for the diocesan priesthood. Some of the men were from our Archdiocese of Milwaukee. It was fun getting to know them and spend time with them.

What me and friends realized was that these men were very normal, typical college students only a few years older then myself! It was fun playing games with them, going out to dinner at Giordano's restaurant (which I must say has the best "Chicago style" deep-dish pizza ever!) and seeing them goofing off together and enjoying themselves.

After spending two and a half days there touring Chicago, visiting the beautiful Madonna Della Strada Chapel(see above picture) and going to classes to get a taste of college life, it was time to say goodbye. Our departure started off by taking the Chicago metro, which is basically a subway above the ground that runs back and forth from various parts of Chicago to downtown. We had to take the metro downtown and then walk 6 blocks to the Union Station in order to board the Amtrak Hiawatha #333 train headed to Milwaukee. After purchasing our tickets, our train left at 10:20 AM. Prior to this trip, I had never been on a train except for the kiddie train at the Milwaukee County Zoo, so this was a fantastic new experience for me and my friends.

The train ride was super fast. It only took us an hour and fifteen minutes! It literally felt like we were floating on air, it was so fast and yet so quiet. The vocation director at St. Francis De Sales Seminary Father Peter Berger, who had arranged this trip for us, was there at the train stop to pick us up. Father Peter then took us back to the seminary where our parents were there to pick us up.

The trip to Chicago was one the most exciting experiences I have ever had. It has really helped me to get a feel for how college life is and the many responsibilities that come with it. As this year goes by and as the next quickly comes I will be looking at a number of colleges and see which one would really benefit me and my education. Visiting St. Josephs has really giving me a new aspect on college life is. I would like to thank Father Peter Berger for inviting me to checkout St. Josephs to see how life in the college seminary is down in Chicago. I would also like to thank all of the young men and staff for their warm hospitality and welcome towards us. These young men may someday God willing, become the world's next generation of priests and I will keep them close to my heart in prayer. Thanks again for everything. It was a blast!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Movie Night with Father Matthew Widder

This past Friday, my good friend and Confirmation sponsor Father Matthew Widder asked to me to come with a youth group from his church to go and see a movie entitled "The Human Experience". The movie was made by Grassroots Films, the same company that made "Fishers of Men" and "Finding Jesus in the Streets of New York City". Since the movie was being shown in Whitewater, we did have a long drive to go. So with Father Matthew's trusty GPS, good friends and food, the ride seemed to pass by fast.

In a flash we were there at the University of Whitewater Wisconsin ready to see a great movie about what life is all about and how we should live it daily. I give it two thumbs up and recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good movie to watch on a Friday night.

It was a great night out but the thing that stuck out to me was not the movie, but the time spent with Father Matthew, getting a chance to talk about things going on in my life. Father Matthew is a very good listener and gives the best advice. Before I left his car to go inside my house, Father asked me to pray with him. This was one of the most memorable moments I have ever experienced, just being able to talk and pray with a priest, it was just exciting.

Overall it was a great night! I am so grateful to be able to meet new people and continue to spend time with Father Matthew. It was a night I will never forget.