Glenmary Formation: A Winning Recipe
By Paul Nyabuto,
Surely Glenmary's formation house, the House of Studies in St. Meinrad, Ind., is unlike any other house. It is like a kitchen with a complicated menu. Foods collected from three different countries are cooked in one kitchen and one pot. You might say that these foods cannot be cooked at the same time since they come from different gardens, but all in all, the fire brings everything together as one. The "foods" being cooked are Glenmary students Jason Muhlenkamp (United States), Jose Carlos Miguel Lopez (Mexico), William Obiero (Kenya), Patrick Muriithi (Kenya) and me (Paul Nyabuto, Kenya). The cook is Glenmary Father Jerry Dorn, director of Glenmary's candidacy and postnovitiate programs, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Here in the formation house we are in the "kitchen," being prepared for Glenmary missionary work to serve the people of the rural South and Appalachia. Community life builds up our ability to live with one another with mutual respect. Actions speak louder than words. Our lifestyle causes neighbors to admire us. How do I know? They bring us food, they come to talk to us, and they welcome us into their homes. Who we are leads them to welcome us.
What makes our house different from others? It is home to some of the Glenmary students in formation and is also a house of prayer. We go to our small chapel every morning at 7 a.m. and every evening at 5 p.m. for prayers and sometimes for Mass, but most days we celebrate Mass at our nearby seminary, St. Meinrad. We are men of prayer, living a community life.
For instance, we work together in preparing good meals and eat together as a community, breakfast, lunch and supper. Often, I don't know the name of the food, but generally it is good. I miss Ugali, our lovely African meal. But this is a small sacrifice. We also have to wash our dishes and make sure the kitchen and the dining room are clean and ready for the next meal. All we do is done in the spirit of community life.
The four of us who are preparing for the priesthood attend St. Meinrad School of Theology. The member of our group who is a Glenmary brother in training attends Brescia College in Owensboro, Ky. The schools are places where the four dimensions of life are nurtured (human, spiritual, academic and pastoral).
The House of Studies is a house of growth, but growth cannot come until each of us living here accepts that he needs to be "cooked" with the other students in the house to be a good "meal" (a good missioner), who can then share himself with others. We ask the Holy Spirit to lead us in this growth. Amen.