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Tuesday evening, Mardi Gras, the monks had their usual evening haustus with appetizers, beverages, and some extra treats.  It was an enjoyable festive meal before we begin Lent and take on special observances and penances.  After haustus, the card players were at their usual table enjoy some fraternity and a competitive game of Bridge.
740_IMG_3711Below:  Postulant Eric (posing purposely with a goofy grin), Br. David, and Postulant Joseph (not pictured) opted for a game of Settlers of Catan, a game which the older monks just stand and observe and can never understand the complicated rules.  However, the game is another good opportunity to relax in one another’s company, and it does not usually get too tense until the end.  Br. David eventually taught the postulants a lesson in humility.740_IMG_3716

The sophomore class in the seminary was in charge of hosting the annual Mardi Gras party.  They held it in St. Michael’s Gymnasium and the theme was “College Night.”  I sported my Oklahoma State apparel over my habit, while the majority of the students showed their allegiance to Kansas or Kansas State.  However, a diverse number of colleges were represented.  The seminarians had different tables of card games including, Blackjack, Pitch, and Uno.740_IMG_3678740_IMG_3698740_IMG_3681

Today marks the beginning of Lent.  The seminarians began a 3-day silent retreat, and the monks are on a Day of Recollection.  Abbot Gregory presided at Eucharist today, which included the distribution of ashes, choosing the formula:  “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”740_IMG_3723740_IMG_3726740_IMG_3734740_IMG_3737