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?
Whether or not you are ready for it, when September arrives, it is goodbye summer, hello school. The long, lazy days of summer fade fast and you are wise to quickly embrace the new season of cool classes and crisp fall days. But a new season doesn’t mean a no-fun season.
In fact, at Catholic Studies, we are all about embracing new seasons, in style. Sometimes that means prolonging the joys of the old seasons. So, on a steamy 90 degree day in mid-September, under a hot summer sun, Catholic Studies faculty, staff, students, friends, and family gathered together to officially welcome the new semester with a backyard BBQ. The Sitzmann Hall patio overflowed with burgers and brats, conversation and croquet, ladder golf and laughter, and of course, ice cream. Old friends were reunited and new friends were made. With a healthy dose of summer air, barbeque, and ice cream, the rich life of Catholic Studies once again landed full force at UST.
There is something going on at that big brick house across the street. Can you smell it?
Written by Leah Miller ’15, Political Science and Catholic Studies
When you think of St. Thomas Catholic Studies students you may picture them in the 5:05 Sitzmann mass or tending to the Blessed Sacrament in the Koch adoration chapel. Well now you can add St. Thomas Football Field. On Saturday April 28th Catholic Studies students and friends hit the field for the 7th annual Catholic Studies Ultimate Frisbee Tournament. The temperature was a cool 40 degrees with only a quarter inch of rain according the weather.com but most of the players and fans would attest to below zero temps and at least a foot of angel tears. Contrary to all of the hype surrounding the faculty team they were unable to attend because they didn’t want to get their argyle socks a little wet.
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 Gemma Shaffer ’14, Biochemistry and Catholic Studies
Last year as a freshman, when I heard that the Catholic Studies department was going to put on a talent show, I thought to myself, “Eh, it will probably be a bunch of lame skits and stuff, but hey, it might be fun.” Much to my surprise, that night I discovered that the students in the Catholic Studies department did indeed have talent, far more so than I think anyone expected. This year when talent show time rolled around, I thought, “This will be good, but there’s no way it could top last year’s.” Once again, I was wrong.
Posted by Monica, UST Senior, Catholic Studies and Psychology
One fateful night during the Catholic Leadership Interns Spring Institute in Chicago, Illinois, the idea for “The Catholic Edge” was born. When focusing on the once “Community Night”, the Interns found themselves asking, what is our objective; what is the purpose of these nights? It seemed that an important element was missing: Challenge. The interns realized that what the Catholic community at St. Thomas needed was
Walking around the UST area on the first Tuesday of the school year, passerbys were most likely taken aback by the abnormal amount of people hanging around talking and playing yard games behind a huge house on summit. Little do they know, that huge house is the Center for Catholic Studies, and that large crowd was there for the Fall Kick-Off event for the year.
This year’s kick off event held true to its usual Ice Cream Social theme complete with CS Faculty and Staff. However, Catholic Studies decided to mix it up by adding a substantial food element. Clearly, this was a smart move because Famous Dave’s had nothing on Sitzmann Hall with the amount of people that showed up for some good ol’ BBQ. The attendance at this event was very high in relation to previous years (at least 200) and no one would probably deny that it was a success. To prove this perhaps undeniable statement even further, the event ran out of food. Twice. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, within the first half hour the BBQ and ice cream had run out.
The first words that came to my mind were “Bring…it…on!” As I proceeded to read the Catholic Studies Weekly Newsletter to find the faculty had pooled their allowances to hire the body builder, Arnold Schwarzengger, for the annual Frisbee Tournament, I knew there was little chance of victory for my team. As I continued on, I read the starting lineup was Dr. Michael “Tackle” Naughton, Dr. Bob “Will Stop for Nothing to Win” Kennedy, and Dr. Paul “The Hulk” Wojda, I accidently said out loud while sitting in the inaudible basement of Sitzmann Hall, “no way!” I have had each of these professors and know that each of them not only have brains of brilliance, but they each have bodies of steal, which means they have both strategy and muscle. I then questioned if Mr. Schwarzengger could actually assist these men as they are already had the potential for such a strong team.
This past Saturday, April 9th, was the event of the season. The SJV men from the Grand Avenue Apartments battled the Catholic Men’s Floor of Ireland for the first time in St. Thomas history. Coming in as a late addition to the bracket, the Men’s floor was seeded high and ready to compete, their strengths lying in their energy and enthusiasm. The men from Grand were also set as their playing style emphasized experience and seniority. Free popcorn, entertaining announcers, and a guest appearance from our very own Archbishop Nienstedt were among the highlights of the evening. Both teams proved to have a sizable turnout in terms of their fan sections, though the seminary might have had a “home-field advantage” due to their large number of organized cheers.
On February 25th Catholic Studies sponsored its fourth annual Monte Cassino night–an event that has become quite the spring semester tradition. Dressed to the nine, students pack themselves into the warm and homey atmosphere of Sitzmann Hall. This time, however, the building is disguised as a casino. The elegant evening is comprised of a poker tournament, blackjack, a karaoke contest, prizes, food, and a bar with cleverly named virgin drinks (Sanctus Soda, Mimosa Mary, Ave Maria Apple…to name a few). Below are pictures from the festivities.
Pictures courtesy of Miriam Stella and Nathaniel Binversie