Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Constructive Summer - Backyard Lot

The third installment chronicling our seminary construction projects this summer: The Backlot shared with the Byrne Residence.

Now, perhaps your're thinking, "Really? They're doing a story on the repaving of the back parking lot?" Please remember that this is part of a longer series on the extraordinary number of construction projects going on around the seminary this summer. This author would also like to note that the seminary has a long-range plan and this is all part of said plan.

Those of you who have visited the Saint Paul Seminary might be wondering why this lot does not show up on our list of directions; perhaps you even visited the seminary for an event that left our lot particularly crowded and would have loved to know about this "secret" lot. This lot is reserved for the "upper crust" of the seminary; it leads to a garage where our priest-faculity park, while the lot itself is used by the highest ranking members of the seminary (the transitional deacons and the men of theology three).

People who visit the Archbishop Byrne Residence also use this lot during their stay. The Byrne Residence is the official home for the retired priests of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. It is truly our privilege to live next door to these veterans of parish-ministry and we couldn't be happier to be neighbors.

Though you do not need a permit in advance if you're visiting the Byrne Residence, you do need one to park in the seminary section. I should warn you: note the picture on the right with the very large hole: if you park improperly or if you do not have a permit, this (right) is what happens to your car - a lightning bolt from Heaven destroys your car (I am only joking, of course).

The construction here was not a full replacement of the drive - more of some major patchwork. Like all basic tar paths in Minnesota, the very warm summers combined with sub-zero winters wreak havoc on the drive - opening cracks and holes.

This was a straightforward project - the remarkable aspect is just how many projects we are having this summer. Some of my college friends would work on road construction during the summer and I am sure they will be just a bit upset that I cannot remember all the processes they taught me on what these machines are called and how to operate them.

My CONSTRUCTIVE friends will be happy to know that I was watching closely when the team was finishing the project. Again, as with the crews and equipment repairing the outside of the chapel, I persistently asked for a ride in the machines. Sadly, these gentlemen (citing OSHA rules) indicated that they could not give me a ride.

We are very thankful for the hard work of these crews! They worked during several humid and very warm days. I should add that these folks were very courteous and polite to both seminary staff and this author as well.

Here's the story: I didn't know on which date they would be beginning the work on this lot and my car (not pictured herein) was trapped in this back lot. Fretting and fearing that I would not be able to drive for several days, I asked one of these fellas for a favor - to get my car out before it was really too late. I am happy to report that they not only helped me get out but even went out of their way to make sure I had a clear (and safe) path out of the lot as they worked.

Take care, -Jeremy

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