Fr. Etienne, Br. Placid, and I spent the past 5 days at the SEEK 2019 Conference, which is sponsored by FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). This year we got a booth to promote vocations to Conception Abbey. On January 2, we loaded up the car and headed to Indianapolis to arrive a day early for the conference. The conference attracted close to 17,000 Catholic college students, men and women seeking a deeper relationship with Christ. The days were filled with opportunities to celebrate the Sacraments and hear some excellent speakers.
Thursday, January 3 was the start of the conference. However, we had the morning to do some sight seeing in downtown Indianapolis. The three of us walked to the State Capital and toured the building (pictures below).
Below: Fr. Etienne posing for a picture.
Below: View from the gallery of the Indiana House of Representatives.
Above: A view looking up at the stained glass dome in the Capital building.
Below: September 11 Memorial in downtown Indianapolis.
We visited the World War Memorial. It was a very fine memorial to our veterans. We talked to the tour guide and were able to get a sneak peak into the main memorial hall, even though it was closed for repairs. The blue lights were on the ceiling of the memorial, and normally the lighted star would be raised and hanging in the center.
The SEEK Conference itself was an exciting and life-changing event for many young people. Our booth was situated among many other religious booths from all over the country. There were other Benedictine monasteries also present from St. Meinrad, St. Procopius, and St. Anselm’s. We had a lot of interactions with young people.
First, we had to get our display set up properly. Below: Fr. Etienne steams the table cloth.
We had various materials and goodies for the students, including pens, Benedictine medals, prayer cards, cookies, bottled water, mints, and even a raffle with different prizes.
Above: We also had a 32 inch TV that played a 19 minute video on loop, showing different of the Abbey and our monastic life.
Below: Visiting with men interested in monastic life.
Below: Abbot Benedict flew in for 2 days of the conference. It was his first SEEK experience and it was a chance for him to visit with the men who have expressed interest in monastic life and to get to see many alumni of Conception Seminary College.
Below: All of us gathered at our booth.
Above: Abbot Benedict blesses some Benedictine medal and religious articles.
Below: Abbot Benedict and I catch up with some priest friends of mine- Fr. Mike Pratt (Vocation Director of the Diocese of Tulsa) and Fr. Kerry Wakulich (Chaplain at St. John’s University Parish on the campus of Oklahoma State University, and he is also my classmate).
Below: The students who won the raffle were pretty excited. We raffled off two Benedictine crucifixes and an icon of St. Benedict.
A few last pictures from downtown Indianapolis including Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Colts football team plays.