By Patrick Mullan
Second Theology, Archdiocese of Washington
18 February, 2017
Have you ever had the experience of feeling like you’re right where you supposed to be? That’s how I felt after being elected to serve as the Community Life Committee Chair as part of the Student Government Association at the Theological College. What is it like being the Chairman of Community Life? It feels like waking up every day knowing you’re a winner. It feels like you’re constantly on a caffeine high, but like, a dangerous quantity of caffeine. Like, “I can see sound,” amount of caffeine.
Now you may be wondering to yourself, “O.K. Patrick,” which is a strange thing to wonder to yourself, “that’s great, but what does the Community Life Committee do?” Well, a lot. We host the world’s premier indoor seminary mini-golf tournament, the Mini Sedes Mini Cup, in the fall. Then there’s intramural volleyball, flag football, indoor soccer, basketball, and softball. We compete against each other in poker tournaments, a Cornhole tournament, and in the dreary days of February (going on right now) we host the prestigious Iron Seminarian Tournament to determine who is the best in the Tripartite Competition of Darts, Pool, and Ping-pong. There’s Movie Nights, Sundae Sundays, and Sporcle Fridays. If you like the outdoors, you can go hiking, camping and even skiing with our Outdoor Subcommittee. We have parties for everything from Election Night to St. Paddy’s Day, but it’s an undisputed fact that the best Super Bowl party in the “Little Vatican” of Brookland is at the corner of 4th and Michigan.
I guess you could say my job as the Community Life Committee Chairman is to plan parties and run events for the guys in the house to boost morale. While you wouldn’t be wrong, you’d still be missing something. The reason why I love to serve my seminary community is because I get to help others enjoy their time in formation. The way I see it, I get to use my penchant for entertaining others and impress upon my brothers one of the most valuable lessons I’ve ever learned in formation for the priesthood: you can’t do this alone.
I feel strongly about a few things in life. One: people who live in glass houses––should definitely invest in shades. Two: there’s no such thing as “too many Cheezits” unless you’re allergic to what awesome tastes like. And third: the best part about joining seminary is the fraternity you’ll enjoy with your brothers. It’s like pledging Alpha Omega without any hazing (except maybe learning how to use the 4 volume set of the Liturgy of the Hours—so confusing). You can’t really tell “how good and pleasant it is when brothers live in unity,” (Psalm 133) from the outside looking in. So all the fun things we do as a community are meant to help guys (even the introverted ones) develop strong friendships to support his priesthood for the rest of his life. Just like every other human being on the planet, seminarians need connection to thrive. A great joy of my formation is getting to use my gifts in support of such connections, which is helping all of us become better priests. That’s a great privilege that I hope I can live up to.