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On Saturday, August 19, I attend the Family Vocation Day for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. It was held at St. Theresa’s parish in Parkville, Missouri. The day began with Mass with Bishop Johnston. My role was to set up our vocation booth and help with the “Monastic Day” sessions for the boys attending the vocation day.

Br. Leven from St. Benedict’s Abbey (Atchison, KS) and I had the task of leading three sessions: one with 7-8th graders, one of Kindergarten to 3rd grade, and 4-6th grade boys. We gave them an experience of Benedictine ora et labora (prayer and work). We had them pray the Psalms alternating sides of choir, then they had their morning and afternoon “work” (which ended up just being two fun activities).

The first activity involved copying manuscripts. They boys sat at the tables (while Gregorian chant was playing in the background) and they copied a verse of the Bible, using their best hand-writing, and then they decorated the works with gold and silver crayons.

The second activity was more popular, and understandably so. The boys had the task of building a monastery out of Legos. They had several bins full of Legos and they had to construct the monastery church, dining room, monk rooms, barn, and other parts as well. The first group started the project and the later groups added to the project. By the end of the day there was a fairly impressive monastery building.

I enjoy attending these events because I am able to witness to the Benedictine way of life and encourage young people to be open to God’s call. It was a well-organized event, and our sessions were just one of many things going on throughout the school building. I also participated on a Vocation Panel during the lunch period with other priests and Vocation Directors.

Please continue to pray for vocations!