On the first Friday in October, students, faculty, co-workers
and the Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology Board of
Overseers filled the Holly Courtyard at Saint Meinrad for a trip
around the world through food.
The Around the World party is a seminary event that takes place
twice a year, in the fall and spring. Seminarians prepare food from
their countries or regions of origin to celebrate the diversity and
culture in the seminary.
Currently, 29 percent of the seminary community is
international. There are people from Togo in Africa, and from Korea
and Vietnam in Asia. There are people who have lineage from Peru,
South America, from Central America, Mexico, Nicaragua, even New
Zealand, plus all of the different ethnicities and cultural
backgrounds in the United States.
"Around the World is an event where all of these different
expressions of culture come out in food," explains Joseph de
Orbegozo of the Diocese of Little Rock. "That food is shared
together in a fair-style event where people walk around and try
what they want."
The Around the World party is one of the major
community-building events in the seminary. It is organized by two
seminarians, but the whole community comes together to make the
event a success. Joseph and Gil Pierre of the Archdiocese of Mobile
organized the event last year.
"It's an event put on for the community by the community," says
Gil. "Around the World draws together a large portion of the
community to show off their gifts, show off their talents. Not
everyone is a cook, but we have enough people to come forward and
cook. We also have people to help set up and to come clean up at
The event also ties into seminary formation, as the students
work together to share and teach others about their cultures.
"This is something that the students are putting on
for each other," says Fr. Julian Peters, OSB. "There's a real
element of service, community building, human formation and also
the experience of expanding your tastes. Try something different,
step out of your parameters, the boundaries, the limits that you've
known and be adventurous."
Fr. Julian and the spouses and guests of the Board of Overseers
prepared a table of Bavarian food for the party. They spent the
afternoon cooking up beer bread with onions, pretzels and lubkuchen
The evening of the event, tables lined the courtyard. As people
walked from table to table, they found spring rolls and egg rolls
from Vietnam, chicken tikka from India, barbeque from Kansas City,
quesadillas from Mexico, blood stew from the Philippines and
homemade ice cream from the Oklahoma City seminarians.
There is always a variety of food to choose from at the event
and sometimes people don't always know what they're eating. Last
year, a group of seminarians prepared pig brain, and another year
some seminarians butchered and prepared goat.
"Around the World broadens our experience of other cultures and
backgrounds," says Fr. Julian. "It is an opportunity to really
taste and see, to experience something very genuine because these
are often recipes the guys brought from home, or they learned to
make from their families. That helps us to be more informed about
other cultures and our understanding of where people come from and
how faith is lived out in different places."