In last month’s post from Moreau Seminary, Seminarian Chris Ochoa, C.S.C., shared with us the meaning of brothership. Continuing our series of posts from our men in formation, Seminarian Matt Kuczora, C.S.C, shows us international brothership in action at the seminary’s Christmas Party that was transformed into an amazing fundraiser complete with a “Stache-o-Meter” and a revelation of something not seen in over 23 years!
One fateful Friday afternoon in October, the Kenyan government came to our formation house in East Africa spray painting yellow X’s on the seminary buildings and informed the community that they were to vacate and demolish their home in a matter of days or soldiers with bulldozers would do it for them. The guys had no recourse and no appeal, so like the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt, they packed up what they could, had a prayer service asking for the intercession of Our Lady and Blessed Moreau, and moved into temporary housing with another religious community.
To assist our fellow Holy Cross seminarians the men of Moreau Seminary decided to add a few fundraising elements to our annual Christmas party. We took donations at the door; finally professed CSCs donated meals to auction; “human jukebox” (seminarian Dennis Strach) took requests on the piano all night; and Santa read a letter from Fr. Pat Neary, C.S.C., (our past rector and the new rector in Kenya) telling the story.
Best of all we had a “Stache-o-Meter” poster marking total donations with the incentive that if enough money were raised, our revered rector, Fr. Pete Jarret, C.S.C., would shave his trademark moustache for the first time in his religious life (23 years!).
The place was packed, everyone had a lot of fun and it was a great way to wrap up the semester with prayer, celebration, and solidarity. Through the generosity of our friends, classmates and the local ND community, we raised over $10,000! Needless to say, that went beyond all our expectations and Fr. Jarret’s mustache is no more.
While certainly not everything they need, the funds raised will go a long way toward getting our 22 brother seminarians a roof over their head. No matter where we are across the world, things like this remind me that we really are one family of men with hope to bring.