Saturday, August 24, 2013


The seminarians are back! This campus was pretty dead after summer school ended, and I've really missed having people around. I'm excited to see everybody again! 

Since they've just returned and the school year is about to start, this seemed like an appropriate time to begin my #mylifeatseminary series. Living on a seminary campus makes for some interesting and sometimes hilarious life stories and experiences, so I thought I'd share a couple of the shareable ones every once in awhile. (Maybe I'll write a book someday) ;)

For future reference, though the stories aren't scandalous in the least, I'll be keeping the identifying details to a minimum; they may have happened last year, they may have happened in the summer or this year, and none of the names are accurate. 

#mylifeatseminary: Papal Excitement

I try to keep up to date on current events.  I follow CNN and BBC News on Twitter so I know what's happening in the country and the world. It's the same with Church news, and I stay on top of the Vatican News website so I know what's happening in the Church. I'd say I'm fairly on top of things. 

But I've found that there are few things more reliable for quick information, especially on Church matters, than the Seminarian Network. 

When Pope Benedict stepped down from the papacy, it was huge news for everyone and the media went nuts. But before CNN, EWTN, or even on Twitter could tell me about it, I received a 5 am text from a seminarian informing me that the Pope had resigned. Only a few things were even out on the news about it by that time!

At breakfast, lunch, and dinner, before the news was even asking these questions, the guesses over what Pope Benedict would be called, when a conclave would be held, and who would be elected had already begun. I think the term "[Catholic] March Madness" could have been accurately applied to the pre-conclave atmosphere. 

The Holy Father was elected on a Wednesday afternoon. On Wednesday afternoons, I had a class on the first floor and the entire 1st Theology class was immediately above us on the 2nd floor. I wasn't watching any of the live cameras because I was in class, but I figured the Pope wouldn't be elected that day anyway and I had signed up for "PopeAlarm" - an app that would text me as soon as there was white smoke - so I wasn't worried about missing it

About 5 minutes into class time, the outside door of the theology building crashed open and through the crack of our almost-closed door I saw someone go sprinting by. Next, I heard feet pounding up the stairs and someone yelling, "school is cancelled, school is cancelled!!" followed by the scraping of chairs and an earthquake sound in the room above us. 

Well, I thought, there must be white smoke! Checked my phone: no text from PopeAlarm. But I quickly looked up the news, and sure enough: white smoke. 15 minutes later, I received a text from "PopeAlarm" telling me that a Pope had been elected. 

Who needs PopeAlarm when you have seminarians?

School wasn't cancelled, by the way. Wishful thinking on his part. 

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