Thoughts from a young theologian

Wrapping up the year: Sports Day


Soooooo much has happened this week that I can only really give you guys tiny bits and pieces. First of all, as I’ve already implied in the title, the whole year is slowly starting to wind down. It might get a little tougher for me to maintain this blog the next couple of weeks because this week has been our last full week of classes. Our last day is on Holy Thursday and we will be having all our exams (sigh) a few days after Easter. So I’ll most likely be incredibly busy over the next few weeks but I’ll definitely try to keep this running.

So as I mentioned before, the past Friday and Saturday was our infamous Sports Day. Friday, we held our opening ceremonies with the presentation of our prepared skits and displays. There were three teams. My team was the Vaticannons so we had a huge obelisk and Vatican flag for display, and we themed our skit after that as well. Our skit however, was waaaaaay to cheesy to really talk about! Hehehehehe suffice it to say that its highlight included a tiny dance sequence by two of the four Filipinos here in the seminary. c”,)

Speaking of cheese, the other group called themselves “Cheese smokies” in honor of the delectable morsels we all feasted on during our camping trip earlier in the year. they wore these plain white shirts with mustard and ketchup plastered all over it and even composed a song honoring its meaty goodness. For their display, they used a large trough filled with some kind of powdery substance (I’m not sure what exactly it was) and lit it on fire causing tons of colored smoke to rise up into the sky. They also held a very large head poster of Fr. Corapi (which unfortunately ended up being a little bit vandalized by the third group later on during the day–they used some of their face paint to draw some battle markings around his face and a little lightning on his forehead). Fr. Corapi was shown as a huge lover of cheese smokies.

Finally, the third group was named the “Lions/Loins (used interchangeably) of David. They, for their display built a gigantic tree complete with a stuffed model of a man (whom they called Absalon) with long golden hair (recycling the wigs we bought for our advent program) hanging from the tree. You have to read the story of Absalon in the bible to really get this. All I really remember about him is that he died by getting his hair stuck in a tree. Their skit was EPIC. They used their tree extensibly in it and depicted a fierce battle between “tree minions” greatly resembling those guys from Avatar with their blue face paint and businessmen complete with tons of pyrotechnics and special effects. They also poked fun at one of our speeches (the one against the use of fluorescent light bulbs) by showing a scene where the minions defeated the businessmen by their use of lightsaber fluorescent bulbs. Again… who says seminarians don’t know how to have fun?

The Friday afternoon and Saturday (whole day) was jam packed with tons of events. We had running events (2400, 400, 100 and 4×100 meter events), high jump, badminton, golf, basketball and hockey. We also had a three-way tug of war, three-way soccer, and a huge “amazing race” style event at the end of the day. Everyone was literally sore most of the day. You could not not be sore running around sooooo much.

I was assigned by my team to most of the long distance running events and to the high jump. These two events are among the BEST ways to realize just how out of shape one really is. I found out just how much I’ve been prioritizing my academic, spiritual and community life and kind of neglecting my own physical health, participating in sports only when it was mandatory. I think that part of that has to do with the fact that being a pre-theology student, there’s only so many hours one has per day to study for 3 massive philosophy courses among other things. Time management, just like in university is critical here too not only because of the heavy academic material but also because one is expected as a seminarian to spend lots of time in prayer too, as well as with the community. The balance is very difficult to find. Anyway, I had to “run” the 2400 and I was doing fine until I started cramping up a bit and had to start walking more than jogging. I was joined by Brother Gregory who was out jogging too for his afternoon run and who ended up trying to get me to pick up the slack a bit… Heheheheheheh Without saying how many we actually were who ran, I will say I ended up in 6th place for this event… c”,)

The day ended with the infamous boat race. I mentioned that one of the activities the preceding week was the building of a well decorated and sturdy cardboard boat. I have to admit that even though our boat was awesome with its built in cannon, the boat of the Cheese Smokies team was in my opinion even better. Their team had built of all things, a make believe grill, complete with a liftable lid on the back of their boat with paper smokies roasting on it. It was fantastic!

The race as well did not disappoint and as exciting as the finish was, with the cheese smokies boat finishing first by a wide margin, nothing could beat what happened right at the beginning. Our team’s paddler was Pablo, the soon to be deacon for the archdiocese of Vancouver (June 3 at Holy Rosary–mark it down!!! Woot woot!! 🙂 ). If you actually personally know Pablo, you’ll get a far better appreciation for why all of us (including him) really enjoyed this. Most of us were waiting on the other side of the lake watching in anticipation when Ryan (the Commisioner) started the race. Pablo took two strokes with his paddle, noticed and said to himself wow… there’s a bit of water going in here and that was the last thought that entered his mind before he and his boat toppled over into the water. It was fantastic!!! c”,) It ended up distracting Deacon Bryan (soon to be Fr. Bryan, June 11 at Holy Rosary–mark this one down too!!!) who was the driver of the third boat of the Lions/Loins of David enough that Dan of the cheese smokies team took a significant lead. It was a fabulous way to finish all of the sporting events!

We ended the day after Vespers out in the burning pit of the abbey creating a nice, big fire (from burning our boats, the big “tree” of the lions/loins and the obelisk. We brought with us our grill, roasting on it what else but cheese smokies (and burgers too). We also had from Brother Benedict (the cook) some amazing potato salad and chili. Fr. Alban (from the monastery) joined us as we spent the greater part of the evening just hanging out and reminiscing about the year that had been.

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