There is often a misconception that life in the seminary is one that is always serious, prayerful, studious: "Do you ever have fun?"
Well, I can certainly say that this was NOT the case in my situation. We had a few resident practical jokers, and reading about Adoro's gaffes during training certainly highlight some of the ones we made during our own training.
During II Theology, we help out in a parish RCIA program while we are taking Principals of Religious Ed and Rites of Initiation over two quarters. My assignment was to help at Our Lady of the Visitation, where I would ultimately end up as Associate once I was ordained. During the Inquiry stage, we met on Thursday evenings, before moving on to Sunday's later in the year.
I remember one particular Thursday where I should have been a little more astute. It was just prior to the election of 2000, and a classmate "wanted to watch the vice-presidential debate in my room." Why my room? I had a tv, he didn't and "he didn't want to boor the rest of the community by watching it." (I really should've known something was up, but I foolishly trusted the man.)
As I was leaving dinner, I look across the refectory and he was scheming with a number of priest faculty and other students. Hmmmm.....
Well, I made it back just in time for our annual viewing of "Strange Brew," Eh? and crashed at Bar Jonah before heading up to my room. Movie over, I stayed for another beer (yes, we can drink in the seminary, just not excessively!)
Well, I finally make it up to my room, and my answering machine was right by the door, blinking. Without hitting a light, I hit play and immediately knew something was up. You know how a room sounds echo-y when it is empty... yep, something surely was up here.
I flip the light switch, and the only thing left in my room was my desk, which they were forbidden to touch, and a floor lamp. JERKS!!! My bed was replaced by the casket that we use for funeral practicums, with my German flag draped over the top.
I was laughing hysterically by this point. I knew I had been had, now where was my stuff...
The co-conspirators were next door, waiting for me. (They had to promise to replace the bed, at least, that evening.) I could hardly talk as we moved my bed back into my room. (They had arranged my room perfectly in the Aula, the old large room for practicing chant.)
People who know me will not be surprised to learn that I am a bit of a pack rat, and am not always the most organized of persons, so my hope was that this little endeavor of mischief had taken them at least an hour to pull off. Imagine my disappointment when the reality was closer to five minutes. "It didn't take long at all, as nearly everyone in the house pitched in!"
I'm still not sure how to think about that, either they all liked me and wanted to be in on it, or they all hated me and wanted to be in on it... I sure hope it is the former!
Life in the seminary can get to be too serious, it is important for all of us to remember to smile and have a good belly laugh at least once a week.