We take a break from our Holy Week homilies for our regularly scheduled seminarian post for the month. Today’s comes from second-year professed seminarian Jarrod Waugh, C.S.C., and it is about one of the time-honored traditions not just in formation but in Holy Cross – the Soiree.
Thursdays are one of the highlights of the week at Moreau. After a community Mass with our younger brothers from OC, and with the many guests we often have over, we share a festive meal. Later in the evening, of course, we pray Compline (during Lent) or Lucernarium, which is then followed by a soiree. This is essential time for hospitality and for relaxation during the busy week, and is often just what we need to get away from our homework for a couple of hours to spend quality time with one another.
As the academic year begins to draw to a close, but just before the solemnity and busyness of Holy Week, our seminary community celebrated one of our last Thursday night soirees. The theme for this soiree—fittingly for a “soiree”—was France! We took this occasion to welcome a Candidate, Marc Valentin, who is joining us from France in addition to commemorating our heritage as a French religious community.
I helped with the menu planning and decorations, while our own Adam Booth, C.S.C., selected the appropriate music (with the help of Youtube), and made signs and food labels in French. With the abundance of red, white and blue balloons and streamers, I think most of the people at the store thought I was having an early Fourth of July party, but au contraire!
The Moreau kitchen staff made us an excellent line-up of Franco-American hors d’ouevres, including baked brie and other cheeses, baguettes and quiche lorraine. All of the soda selections were sporting their French monikers. I think the orangeade was the most popular. In addition to the great fare, each of the small tables in the seating areas contained construction materials so that our guests and seminarians could attempt to build their own Eiffel Towers out of dry spaghetti and marshmallows. I was amazed by some of the things that were built in such a short period of time!
And, of course, not the least of what is built at these soirees is our religious family of Holy Cross, even across international borders, as the time we share in prayer and celebration unites us ever closer in the Lord’s work.