Powerful. Blessed. Inspiring.
Three words that perfectly describe the 2015 Saint Meinrad Day
On March 14, around 130 alumni and friends of Saint Meinrad
gathered in Louisville, Indianapolis, Evansville, Saint Meinrad,
and even Wilmington, Delaware, to pray and serve together.
Two large rooms were painted, shelving units were built, 100
meals were prepared and served, water-damaged rooms were cleaned
out, spring planting was completed, and our seminarians (along with
fellow monks and some high school students from Louisville) cut,
chopped and stacked enough firewood for about six households for
the coming three weeks.
Their impact was significant. But, I believe, even more
significant was their response.
When asked to serve, they came. Although the work was sometimes
dirty, messy and unexpected, they served with smiles on their
faces. Before they began, they prayed together and recognized the
One for whom this work was ultimately for. They turned toward God
and recognized Him in the faces of those less fortunate, to become
enriched by their presence and transformed by the encounter.
Pope Francis once said, "I prefer a church which is bruised,
hurting, and dirty because it has been out on the streets…."
The Saint Meinrad Day of Service was a chance for us to be "out
on the streets" living out the call of a missionary church; seeking
and finding God in the world. We were dirty and tired, but in the
end, filled with the joy that comes with serving our brothers and
Speaking for myself, I certainly was filled with joy at the end
of the day. I met wonderful people who loved Saint Meinrad, worked
with them in service to the people of God, and prayed with them to
start and end the day.
I also learned some very important lessons.
At the end of our day of painting, I was vigorously washing my
hands to remove any trace of paint before Mass, when alumnus Deacon
Tom Hill, said to me, "Don't worry too much; I am sure Jesus, a
carpenter, wouldn't be bothered by a little dirt on your