Group Shot at San Antonio Theologate
Group Shot at San Antonio Theologate

A Report from the San Antonio Theologate

by Noel Oco, C.Ss.R.

Editor’s Note: Now at the midpoint in the San Antonio school year, Noel Oco’s account of the new school year still offers an insightful albeit lighthearted account of how our Redemptorists’ seminarians go about community building while preparing for the rigors of ministry and Church leadership.

As we began a new school year and a new community in San Antonio, the goal of our first weekend was to get to know each other and enjoy each other’s company before the hectic and demanding schedule of school and ministry. Ben Nicholas said it for all of us: “The weekend was a wonderful time of bonding and sharing. I especially enjoyed our time bowling—that was a hoot for sure!” Friday evening, we played Catan in the common room. Little did we realize that was the beginning of a new tradition in our community. Now we gather to play Catan nearly every Friday evening.

Saturday, we explored San Antonio. In the words of our confrere Antonio Montoya, the day was filled with “Welcome to Texas yawl!” The first stop was the San Antonio Aquarium, where we gazed at the wonder of many different kinds of marine animals, including a congregation of hungry alligators and a fever of peaceful stingrays. Surprisingly, the San Antonio Aquarium also had a host of other animals such as porcupines, tortoises, iguana toucans, parakeets, and lorikeets. Two of the birds had a special attraction to Thanh Vu’s hat!

We went to the legendary Texas Roadhouse for lunch. Legendary means hand-cut steaks, fall-off-the-bone ribs, made-from-scratch sides, and… fresh-baked bread. Diego Navarro Lema rode the saddle because it was his birthday, and Scott Partin declared it was “good food, great friends, Texas-sized fun!” We finished the afternoon at the Main Event entertainment center, where we bowled several rounds, played many arcade games and other mini-games like air hockey.

On Sunday we shifted gears. We attended Mass at our St. Gerard Parish, and then spent time reflecting on community and our responsibilities in the community. We separated into four groups, named after the four evangelists. Each group selected their work orders. As Diego summed up the weekend, “I was able to see that joy in community goes beyond eating a good meal or bowling. It is instead a way of sharing and having a good time together.”

Please keep us in your prayers as our student community deepens our appreciation for “Copiosa apud Eum Redemptio.”

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