House Recreation and Community Life

Author: Mr. Charlie Skinner

Each semester, Old College designates two nights for House Recreation. These nights are a great opportunity for the house to grow closer as a community, and they are usually a lot of fun. Typically, two Old Collegians are responsible for planning the evenings and organizing activities for the rest of the house to enjoy. In the past we have played dodge ball, volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, and watched a movie. Most recently, the house took a trip to a nearby bowling alley.

As young men discerning a call to the religious life we live, pray, and work in community. Through living in community, we grow close to one another as brothers. This brotherhood assures us that we are not alone in our discernment and mission to serve the Lord, but are joined by our brothers in formation.

Old Collegians bowling

According to the Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross, “Our community life refreshes the faith that makes our work a ministry and not just an employment; it fortifies us by the example and encouragement of our confreres and it protects us from being overwhelmed or discouraged by our work” (4:33).

In light of the Constitutions, House Recreation reminds us of our call to live in brotherhood. As college students, it is easy to become bogged down by schoolwork, our social lives, and any other commitments that we may have. These things can often take precedence over our community life, and prevent us from growing in brotherhood. House Recreation requires us to place all of these things aside, so that we may come to embrace the gifts that community has to offer. 

Old Collegians go bowling

Each night that we have House Recreation, I develop a deeper appreciation for the Old College community that I am blessed to be a part of. As the Constitutions suggest, community enriches our faith life, encourages us to share our gifts, and provides us with the energy that is necessary for doing our work. For these reasons, House Recreation reminds us that community can be a source of strength and encouragement.

In essence, House Recreation is one way that the Old Collegians grow in brotherhood. As brothers, we seek to be an example for a world that has lost sight of the importance of community. Just as the Constitutions state, we hope to be “men who have, for love of their Lord, become closest neighbors, trustworthy friends, brothers” (4:42).

Mr Charles Skinner

Mr. Charlie Skinner is in his second year at Old College Undergraduate Seminary on the campus of Notre Dame. He and his fellow Old Collegians write a post each month for the Spes Unica Blog, sharing on their life and formation in Old College.  He studies political science at the University of Notre Dame.  Read more about life in Old College, and meet the current Old Collegians who are in formation for priesthood and religious life in Holy Cross. 


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