Written by Jacqueline Lucca ’14, English and Catholic Studies
So often, Sunday nights can get lost in last minute homework cramming stress or that dreaded feeling – I am sure we are all familiar with – that it’s the ending of the weekend.
In Chateau Burgundie this is not the case.
Every Sunday evening at 6p.m., Chateau Burgundie (the fancy name we have for the little house on Cretin and Summit) begins to fill up with students from every area of study to share a meal together. The house is easy to recognize these nights as the golden and white papal flag is flying from it and it is with bursting laughter and conversation. These dinners are not only a great way to get free food, which is obviously enticing, but also a beautiful way enter into Catholic community. Although one does not need to go to St. Thomas or even be Catholic to come, we always begin the meal with a decade of the rosary and end the night with the Salve Regina. These two prayers are the perfect bookends to keep the night focused on Christ through Mary and bring us together in prayer.
These dinners, which were started by the Catholic Men’s house – the Fraternity of St. Michael, were originally much smaller. While originally there were only a couple of people coming to the dinners, there are now often over 50 people per night.
The first dinner of this semester had close to 60 people there, all of whom enjoyed as much taco salad as they wanted. Since the evening was lovely, students spilled out onto the lawn to enjoy the last of the warm weather. Every night has a slightly different feel as there is always some variety in who the chefs are, what style food they choose to make, and which awesome people decide to show up. One night we had huge pots of chili boiling on every burner at Chateau Burgundy and people filling up the chairs, stairs, and kitchen. Other nights we had chocolate chip pancakes and it was a little quieter. After the meal there are always people who stick around to chat some more, clean up, or occasionally, even start swing dancing. I’ve also known nights which end with people standing around the baby grand piano and singing duets at the tops of their lungs.
How could anybody say no to free food and good company steeped in Catholic tradition?
Written by Catherine Huss ’14, Catholic Studies and Fashion Design
In the winter of 2010, my older brother harangued me into attending the Catholic Studies overnight, which was made complete with Monte Cassino. “You’ll get to meet great girls, and I’ll even round up a couple buddies to dance with you” he told me. Great, just what I need, my brother’s seminarian friends to be forced to show his little sister a good time. Reluctantly I attended, and he was right. The women on the Catholic Women’s Floor were so welcoming. They raided everyone’s closet to find me an outfit for the night, as I had come totally unprepared. The Catholic Men’s Floor made us “Brinner,” and I even found the courage to sing and dance to “Single Ladies” for the karaoke contest. To this day, people still remember me for that unexpected performance.
Last Friday night was the “2012 Catholic Studies Monte Cassino Night.” Named after the hill in Italy where St. Benedict first established his monastery, the evening is wrought with a black jack tournament, board games, door prizes, catered food, a mini bar and my personal favorite, the karaoke contest
Written by Talyor Leffler ’13, Philosophy and Catholic Studies
Five years ago, I had a make-believe conversation in my head with those little old ladies during Vocation Awareness Week. They would say, “Young man, you would sure make a good priest,” to which I would respond, “You’re crazy, ma’am. Please go pick on someone else. That’s the last thing on earth I would spend my entire life suffering through.” Today, I’m studying to be a Catholic priest.
Written by Corey J. Stephan ’15, Theology Major
Three Catholic Men’s Floor residents. From left to right: Aaron, Corey (me), & John
The University of St. Thomas is a wonderful, well-respected institution of higher learning with a strong Catholic heritage. That heritage is not merely something pleasant to read in a brochure; the faith on campus thrives at this very moment. As an incoming freshman, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the Tommie Catholic Christian community. I deeply appreciate the Holy Spirit’s heavy hand in bringing me to study at this school, and I know that He also guided me in choosing where to live — the Catholic Men’s Floor.
Living on Ireland Hall’s 2 North, the Catholic Men’s Floor, has made me a part of the best Christian brotherhood for which I could have asked. Every night, a group of fellow floor residents
From Ben Dellaria, Resident Advisor to the Floor:
The Catholic Men’s Floor was initially created by Gregory Crane as a place where men seeking to grow in faith could do so in a safe environment with other devoted Catholics. After being given the R.A. (Resident Advisor) responsibility, I knew I was under qualified and unprepared to lead the men on the floor. Beyond maintaining the floor, the chance that it could grow was completely out of the question. Fortunately for me, God has taken a hold of the floor and molded it into the idea we had initially hoped for. As a residence life employee it is our job to build community on our floors, but I noticed the community on the Men’s Floor was building itself. It was so clear that since the men were all pursuing God, it was only natural that community life be a result. This community where each person is safe being themselves yet challenging each other to grow, has flourished under the protection of Jesus Christ.
Taken from Tommie Blogger Lizzie’s “Snow and Catholic Studies” entry, November 14th, 2010
Lizzie (middle) With Jill and Allison, Visiting for the Overnight
“This week has been quite busy with one paper and two tests, but we made it through and the weekend welcomed us with a big arrival of snow!!
Because I am a weather nerd, I knew the epic blizzard was coming but there’s still nothing like waking up to snow outside! Kudos to all you high school juniors and your families that made it out to Fall Junior Visit Day-you’re all such troopers! Here’s a short wrap-up of the weekend.
As a Freshmen in college there is always the struggle of adapting to a whole new atmosphere and way of living. Only after a month’s time, however, the campus is referred to as “home” and before we know it, total strangers become the best of friends.
As a Southern Belle from deep in the heart of Texas, coming to the University of St. Thomas was a whole new experience. The past six weeks have come and gone with a never-ending flow of fun-filled activities, a desk constantly cluttered with an oncoming flow of homework, and the comforting unity of fellow students. Minoring in the Catholic Studies Program provides me with the ability to study more deeply what is most important to me: my Catholic faith. While delving into the full college experience, there is also the opportunity to immerse myself in the solace of a spiritual regimen. The Chapel becomes a safe haven in which I am relieved of all forms of stress. The many trials that accompany the every day life of a student are triumphed by the joys and exhilarating moments spent not only with supportive friends but also with our Lord present in the most Blessed Sacrament.
Posted by Renee, UST Graduate Student, Master of Arts in Catholic Studies
Good morning from the Catholic Studies Women’s House! We just got back from 7 AM Mass and had breakfast together. My name is Renee Burke-Drazba and I am a first year graduate student from Boston, Massachusetts. My roommates are Marisa Wachtel, who is a senior and Abby Saffert and Joan Hendrick, who are sophomores. We go to daily Mass together every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Community life is great! Although we have very different schedules, we get lots of time to hang out and have fun.
There’s no typical day in the Women’s House. Marisa, Abby and Joan all have classes during the day and since I’m a graduate student, all of my classes are in the evening. The one night that we take off is Wednesday night. It is our community night. We rotate each week who cooks dinner-this week, Joan made tacos and Texas sheet cake, which is a super rich chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Dinner usually gets a little loud because we usually spend more time laughing than eating. After dinner, we pray a rosary together. At the beginning of the year, we wanted to choose a patron saint for our household. We chose Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, the patron saint of the pro-life movement. She was a woman who loved God and showed it by taking care of her family and by committing her daily actions to Him. We are learning more about her life together as a household and pray to her daily.
Between all the homework we have and part time jobs, we always find time to hang out and have fun. We go out for ice cream, watch movies, take trips to Coffee Bené (which is practically across the street!) and spend time with the men who live in the Catholic Studies Men’s House. Tuesday nights we watch Pride and Prejudice at their house and invite people who don’t live in the houses. I just ran my first 5K last weekend at Lake Harriet and although Joan was out of town, Abby and Marisa came to cheer me on! It’s great to know that I live with women who I can rely on, who support me and that I can have fun with.
The house we live in is so warm and cozy. We are so blessed that all the furniture was provided for us. Abby and Joan share a room with a separate office in it and Marisa and I have our own rooms. We have a huge backyard and our neighbors yellow lab, Daisy, has become the unofficial mascot of our house. She barks when we come home and loves attention. We have lots of living space and love to have people over. It’s such a blessing to live in a house that’s practically across the street from campus and it certainly feels more like home than an apartment or dorm.
That’s it for now! Come stop by and say hi if you are ever in the neighborhood. We’d love to see you!
Posted by Gwen Adams, UST Alumnus 2007, M.A. in Catholic Studies
April 26, 1 PM: Cold and rainy as the Littlemore (a.k.a. The Catholic Studies Women’s House) hosts Talk 2 in a three part series on Catholic Social Teaching. Dr. Chris & Mary Thompson began the series in March by talking about the Church and the environment. Today Dr. Jonathan & Stephanie Reyes are talking today about the family as foundation for society and sharing their own experiences. A nice mix of alumnae, graduate, and undergraduate students enjoyed ham sandwiches and some stories about the Reyes family. Jonathan Reyes is a visiting professor this semester and gave the Habinger Lecture last month. He explains that we’re an individualistic society, and that even families can be individualistic instead of realizing that the family exists for others. Then Stephanie lays out some practices that have worked in the Reyes family–like a Rule of Life, and some ways to serve in and outside the home. She recommends A Mother’s Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot.
The Reyes say their kids are their best evangelization. I think that’s really encouraging to a family or anyone contemplating marriage–the idea that nothing you say or do is half so powerful as raising kids to be normal and virtuous, healthy and in love with Christ. They do all the witnessing! But that presupposes that people are interacting with your family–at church, at the nursing home, at a soup kitchen, in the neighborhood, with other families, and that you as a family are praying and making time for those encounters.
Dr. Michael & Teresa Naughton will conclude the series next Sunday, May 3, same time, same place.
Posted by Paula, UST freshman, Catholic Studies and Education
Where can you go at UST and find open doors, fresh baked cookies in the hall, and a Blessed Virgin statue in the bathroom? Not many places, that’s for sure, but you can find all these things and more at 6-North Dowling Hall…the Catholic Women’s Floor! (And how we got the statue is quite an interesting story…if you come live here next year I’ll tell you!)
Life on the Catholic Women’s floor is absolutely wonderful. One of my greatest fears about coming to college was the people I would live with. Would they accept me? Would they share my faith and values? But the moment I set foot on the Catholic Women’s floor way back in September, I was immersed in a fun-loving community of other zealous Catholics who would accept me for who I am and share many beliefs I have. We just got a new member this spring semester, and after meeting her we immediately made her a very colorful and highly energetic “Welcome” sign for her door. This is just one example of the hospitality of this floor community.