Update from St. Meinrad!

It has been awhile so an update is in order.

Two of my diocesan brothers were ordained as transitional Deacons (which means they are preparing for ordination into priesthood in the near future) on the 28th of October – Brian O’Brien and Gary Kastl. It was a wonderful ceremony and the whole weekend was a blessing to them and the other 11 men who were ordained. One of the events of the weekend was a social gathering at the Unstable on Saturday night. The new house band, Abbey Mode, played and it was the first and only stop of the “Official 2006 Reunion Tour of Anathema Sit”. It was good to play some music with Mark, Jeff, Steve and John.

Here is a picture of our newest deacons and the priests from the Diocese of Tulsa that were in attendance.

Standing from left to right are: Deacon Gary Kastl, Fr. Charles (Chuck) Swett, Fr. Jack Gleason, Fr. Michael Knipe, Msgr. Dennis Dorney, Fr. Matt Gerlach, Deacon Brian O’Brien. Kneeling in front is Fr. Valentine Ndebilie.

Here is a picture of the 13 men lying prostrate as the Litany of the Saints was sung, and just before the Archbishop laid hands on them in the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

I made a quick trip to Tulsa last weekend to play at Catholic Charities’ Walk for Adoption on Sunday, November 5th. This is my third year to participate in this worthy fund raiser. It was raining so we held it inside the Bishop Kelley gym and field house. I think a good time was had by all. This photo is from a story in the Eastern Oklahoma Catholic where I am pictured with the Bishop and Newswoman Yvonne Harris from KTUL Channel 8 in Tulsa. I didn’t see it, but I heard that they showed us on the local Tulsa evening news Sunday night in a story about the walk.

Also, here is a copy of this year’s Walk for Adoption logo. I really like it.

This evening, November 12th, the Extreme Makeover – St. Meinrad Edition was broadcast on ABC. They opened the Unstable just so we seminarians could gather and watch the show together. It was a very good show as it focused on the family and the support of people with cancer through the Relay for Life. In the furniture moving section it showed quite a few seminarians and it included a clip of me (from behind) as I helped carry a mattress into the house. On TV two Sundays in a row – what a country!!! Anyway, the Farina family was very deserving and the show really gave a lot of good publicity to cancer awareness. Here is a nice wrap-up statement from Fr. Jeremy King of the Archabbey. He was the liaison with ABC and the Extreme Makeover crew:

“I [Fr. Jeremy] was present at the St. Meinrad Community Center on Sunday evening just prior to the broadcast we all were waiting for! Shawna Farina thanked everyone for all the wonderful contributions that made her family’s dream come true. She also received a check for $1000.00 from SMART to be donated to Relay For Life. These funds were the proceeds from the sale of tee shirts during and following the building project. Amanda Harper was also present. She is the young cancer victim who is to be the recipient of the proceeds from the evening. I was asked to speak and lead the community in prayer before the broadcast. I assured Shawna and family that they had no obligation to “pay it back” to anyone but to “pay it forward”on to all they meet from here on. That has already begun with the Relay for Life and Amanda Harper. Some of you may also know that the Farinas gave all their old furniture to a woman in Huntingburg who lost her home to a fire recently. Shawna and I also spoke privately and she asked me to convey her gratitude to all of the Archabbey community.”

“Even though there was no mention of the Archabbey or any images of us as individuals (other than some students and coworkers) the Archabbey Church towers and our soccer field were recognizable to us and many others who know we were part of making a wonderful thing happen. Having spoken to the producers and finding out that the program was going to be only an hour instead of the two hour special they had hoped for on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I had serious doubts that they would work us in. To have shown much more than they did would have taken at least 10-15 minutes of explanation. The Farina family and the Relay were the center pieces and rightfully so. We are proud that we could be a part and that is all that matters in the long run.”

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One response to “Update from St. Meinrad!

  1. Holy Toledo, I can’t believe how much Gerlack has aged! The dear Padre was a few years ahead of me in the College, and I very well remember his bright outlook and most classy way of doing things. He’s definitely a guy to emulate, and I wish you all the best as you head back for J-Term.

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