Sunday in Bismarck

Another full day at University of Mary, with classes with Dr. John Brehany and Dr. David Echelbarger. Woke up to catch 7:15am mass with Fr. Dan Connealy in St. Joseph’s hall chapel. After classes ended around 5pm, I took a brief nap before meeting Paulo for an Uber into Bismarck where we met Celeste and Dominic at Blarney Stone for supper as the Cavs fell to the Warriors in Game 2 on the background screens as we talked together. When we got back, we walked a bit to enjoy the view, and as we were looking toward the horizon, Msgr. James Shea, the young president of University of Mary, led a Corpus Christi procession from the Lumen Vitae center to the campus chapel. We joined the procession, which ended with the surprisingly affecting and powerful hymn sung by Msgr. Shea.

The group of us then walked with Fr. Cory Catron over to Chesterton’s. The pub was closed but the building and upper porch provided a good place for conversation before we realized how late it was, and wandered to sleep.

Here are the University of Mary’s “Benedictine Values,” which seem to really tangibly inform the spirit, character, and increasingly even the built-environment of campus. Chesterton’s itself is an example of the effort to make the value of “moderation” into something practicable and practical, which I’ll write more about later.

Benedictine Values

“Although communal life inspired by the Rule of St. Benedict stores a vast treasury of Benedictine values, six of these are of particular importance for our life here at the University of Mary…” —Fr. James P Shea, President

Community: Striving together for the common good and growing in relationship with God, one another, and self. (“Let all things be common to all.” Rule of Benedict 33)

Hospitality: Receiving others as Christ with warmth and attentiveness. (“Let all be received as Christ.” Rule of Benedict 53)

Moderation: Honoring all of God’s creation and living simply with balance and gratitude. (“Regard all things as sacred and do everything with moderation.” Rule of Benedict 31)

Prayer: Attending to the mystery and sacredness of life, abiding in the divine presence, listening and responding to God. (“Listen intently to holy readings. Give yourself frequently to prayer.” Rule of Benedict 4)

Respect for Persons: Recognizing the image of God in each person and honoring each one in their giftedness and limitations. (“Honor everyone and never do to another what you do not want done to yourself.” Rule of Benedict 4)

Service: Meeting the needs of others in the example of Jesus the servant leader. (“The members should serve one another.” Rule of Benedict 35)

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