Thursday morning, I was up early to join the priests and seminarians at Bishop Simon Brute College Seminary for 6:45 Mass and Morning Prayer. This college seminary is now in its 7th year, I believe, and have 26 seminarians from several Midwest dioceses, even one from Pueblo, Colorado. It is gratifying to see this young seminary continuing to flourish, and it is always life-giving to spend time with these young men.
The seminary building was a Carmelite Monastery for Carmelite nuns for many years. After some extensive renovations, it now houses the college seminary. Presently, sending dioceses are Indianapolis, Evansville, Louisville, Lexington, Springfield, Cincinnati and Pueblo, and others are seriously considering this option.
After Mass and breakfast with the seminarians, I was off to Holy Name Catholic School in Beech Grove, where my sister, Sr. Nicolette Etienne, OSB, is the religion teacher for 4th – 8th grades.
Sr. Nicolette took her vows with the Benedictines of Beech Grove in July of 1986 if memory serves me well. She is a teacher through and through! She loves being in the classroom, and she has always been a dearly loved and appreciated school administrator, teacher, woman of faith. I am proud to call her my sister!
When I arrived, we went to her classroom, where the 5th grade religion class was fully prepared to “interview me.” The school has a newspaper or newsletter that the students take part in. I must say, they had some well thought out and presented questions. It was enjoyable for me, and I think meaningful for the students to get some up close and personal time with a bishop, especially one who is the brother of their teacher.
This class has been studying bishops, and apostolic succession. They were very interested in the significance of the bishop’s ring, crosier (pastoral staff), miter and zuccheta. It led to some interesting conversation. Of course, they wanted Sr. Nicolette and I to talk of our childhood a bit, and of our favorite memories. I could tell, “Sr.” had already “prepped them for this!
Once the interview was complete, we made our rounds to the other classes, so no one felt left out. Holy Name has a great school, and a great relgious education program and teacher!
After that visit, there was one more enjoyable lunch with Archbishop Buechlein, and then off to the airport. More good memories for the years to come!