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at Moreau Seminary Chapel, Notre Dame, Indiana, USA
Lucernarium at Moreau
Seminary Chapel, Notre Dame, Indiana, USA.
Roman Catholic, Diocese
of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
Moreau Seminary is located on the campus of Notre Dame University
and is the major seminary for the Congregation of Holy Cross,
States Province. It was good to be back once again in this
lovely modern chapel, which we had last visited this past September
when our Shipmate whom we know as Hart professed
his final vows and was ordained to the diaconate. The stained
glass window on the east wall looked every bit as lovely as
it did back then. Chalices that would be given to Hart and his
fellow seminarian Patrick upon their ordination the next day
were set out on a table to be blessed.
From their website: "Moreau Seminary [is] named after Blessed
Basil Moreau, CSC, the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross.
It serves as the major seminary for the Congregation in the
United States. Seminarians live at Moreau and take their courses
at the University of Notre Dame."
It was also good to be back once again on the Notre Dame University
campus, which is an independent entity within the city of South
Bend, Indiana. The entire campus is very bucolic, with lakes,
grottos and shady groves all around. Moreau Seminary is situated
across St Joseph’s Lake and just a quarter mile walk from
the center of the campus, within site of the golden dome that
tops the university's administration building and near the large
mural, affectionately known as Touchdown Jesus, that
graces the library wall (so called because it depicts Jesus
with his arms raised in the manner of a football referee noting
Names were not in the bulletin and they were not introduced,
but they were chosen by the two future priests for this special
evening service. I was able later to learn that the readings
were given by the Revd John Hermau, that the Revd Jim Foster
served as cantor, and that the preacher was the Revd Kevin Grove.
The date & time:
Friday, April 25, 2014, 9.00pm.
What was the name of the service?
Lucernarium. "The Looch", as seminarians fondly call
it, is a weekly evening candlelit service loosely based on the
office of compline ("high bedtime prayers" is one
description given to compline). Lucernarium is open to all students
of the university and gives seminarians a chance to hone their
How full was the building?
Packed to the rafters because the children of the parish of
& St Stanislaus, where Hart has been the deacon in charge
of youth services, all came.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
We were greeted by Hart, who said: "Thank you for coming."
Was your pew comfortable?
Yes. It was a wooden pew, comfortably shaped.
How would you describe the pre-service
Happy and jovial. Nobody came in late.
What were the exact opening words of the
"The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all."
What books did the congregation use during the
An eight-page bulletin with responses and music.
What musical instruments were played?
Piano and organ. A large choir of Holy Cross seminarians and
Did anything distract you?
No, other than the fact that it was very dark inside the chapel
and I had to use my cell phone for light so I could see to take
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip,
happy clappy, or what?
Formal, but not stiff. The room was dark except for candles,
with candles for all the participants lighted at the end. There
was a mixture of readings, prayers, singing and ceremony. Because
two of the congregation were to be ordained the next day, the
place was full and the focus was upon the role of priests. The
readings included Psalm 91 ("He who dwells in the shelter
of the Most High..."), Hebrews 7 (the priesthood of Melchizedek),
and Luke 2:29-32 ("Lord, you are now dismissing your servant
in peace"), as well as a passage from Chapter 8 of the
Constitution of Holy Cross ("We too shall find the cross
and the hope it promises").
Exactly how long was the
On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
10 The preacher was so animated that all attempts to
take photographs of him blurred.
In a nutshell, what was the sermon
On Easter, Jesus spoke to us from the Cross with a human voice.
Priests speak for him with a human voice, although they are
themselves human, like all of us, with faults and failings.
Jesus lives in us so we can live in him. Tomorrow, two future
priests will lie prostrate on the cathedral floor, not looking
to heaven, but with lips and face to the earth and all who walk
upon it. They should see us as broken and wonderfully made,
pining for love. The future priests will speak Christ's words
to us and know Christ is leading us all to the Christ within
Which part of the service was like being in
The singing, when the whole congregation were responding to
And which part was like
being in... er... the other place?
Although it was heavenly being back on campus, it was decidedly
hellish having once again to navigate the twists, turns, roadblocks
and unmarked dead ends of the Moreau Seminary roadways
and in the dark, no less!
What happened when you
hung around after the service looking lost?
There was a party downstairs in the recreation room with libations
and finger foods.
How would you describe
the after-service coffee?
There was beer, wine, soft drinks, fruit salad, a chocolate
fountain with strawberries, short ribs, jalapeño poppers,
jerk chicken wings, cheese, cold cut plates, and a whole salmon!
But, of course, this was a special occasion and the whole congregation
were celebrating the future ordination.
How would you feel about
making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
10 If I were a member of the Holy Cross community I would
not have a choice. But even if I simply lived nearby, I would
love worshipping in such a beautiful setting with people so
infused with joy.
Did the service make you feel glad to be a
What one thing will you
remember about all this in seven days' time?
The enormous choir the seminarians and guests.
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