June 22, 2012

Bishop Bruté Days helps young men learn about the faith, priesthood

More than 40 junior high and high school-age boys kneel in prayer while Father Patrick Beidelman elevates a chalice during a June 13 Mass at the Future Farmers of America Leadership Center in Johnson County. The Mass was part of Bishop Bruté Days, a vocations camp and retreat experience sponsored by Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis, where Father Beidelman serves as vice rector. (Photo by Sean Gallagher)

More than 40 junior high and high school-age boys kneel in prayer while Father Patrick Beidelman elevates a chalice during a June 13 Mass at the Future Farmers of America Leadership Center in Johnson County. The Mass was part of Bishop Bruté Days, a vocations camp and retreat experience sponsored by Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis, where Father Beidelman serves as vice rector. (Photo by Sean Gallagher) Click for a larger version.

By Sean Gallagher

JOHNSON COUNTY—Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis helps junior high and high school-age boys across the archdiocese and beyond learn more about their faith and a vocation to the priesthood through its annual Bishop Bruté Days.

This vocations camp and retreat experience was held for the sixth consecutive year on June 11-14 at the Future Farmers of America Leadership Center in southern Johnson County near Trafalgar.

It drew nearly 50 participants from 23 archdiocesan parishes. Four young men attended from parishes in the Lafayette Diocese and Cincinnati Archdiocese. (Related: See a photo gallery from the event)

It is a combination of presentations on the faith from Father Robert Robeson, Bishop Bruté’s rector, and Father Patrick Beidelman, seminary vice rector, and other priests as well as daily Mass, eucharistic adoration and outdoor activities, such as swimming, soccer and capture the flag.

Seminarian Timothy DeCrane, who will be a junior at Bishop Bruté in the upcoming academic year, participated in Bishop Bruté Days several years ago when he was in high school.

This year, he was a leader at the camp for many of its first-time participants in the junior high track for seventh- and eighth-graders.

“Some of the questions [about the faith] they were answering for Father Bob and Father Pat were impressive,” DeCrane said. “I didn’t expect them to know some of the information that they knew. A lot of them seemed to be open-minded and glad to be here.”

A first-time Bishop Bruté Days participant, Thomas Benkert of SS. Francis and Clare of Assisi Parish in Greenwood, was excited about his camp experiences.

“There have been a lot of great talks. It’s a great learning experience,” said Thomas, who will be a freshman this fall at Center Grove High School in Greenwood. “I’ve learned a lot of things that I haven’t learned about the Catholic faith in the past. There are a lot of great guys here.”

He hopes that what he learned at Bishop Bruté Days will help him bring more friends to the camp next year.

“It will change the way that I think about the Catholic faith,” Thomas said. “So, when I go to church on Sunday, I can experience it more and participate more in the Mass. And I can talk about this to some of my friends who are Catholic who haven’t gone to it. Maybe they’ll go next summer.”

Father Dustin Boehm, associate pastor of St. Monica Parish in Indianapolis, assisted at the camp this year. He said that the young men who participated may have helped him as much as he helped them.

“It’s inspiring for me to remember what a gift the priesthood is, and what a gift it is to be with and watch young men just kind of struggle with that question, whether or not they end up choosing to go [to seminary],” Father Boehm said. “It’s also good to see them, at the same time, grow in holiness and be better men by just being here this week.”

Thomas Sweeney is one of the young men that Father Boehm knows well since he is a member of St. Monica Parish. Thomas said praying the Liturgy of the Hours and praying in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament at the camp were important for him.

“This has opened me up to experience more types of prayer than I’ve known before. And so I can be more faithful in the future,” said Thomas, who will be a freshman this fall at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis.

Father Robeson invited the camp participants to take shifts in an all-night eucharistic adoration vigil during Bishop Bruté Days.

“We’re kind of hoping that it will challenge them a little bit and help them develop a deeper appreciation for the Eucharist and Christ’s presence in the Eucharist,” he said. “Also, we’re trying to help them to see that, as a Christian Catholic man, your faith is something that you should challenge yourself with. Staying up all night is a way to appeal to their manhood, in a sense.”

Joseph Montgomery attended Bishop Bruté Days for a second time this year. A member of St. Michael Parish in Bradford in the New Albany Deanery, he will be a sophomore in the fall at West Washington High School in Washington County.

“The prayers are a good spiritual time, and the outdoor activities are fun,” Joseph said. “Coming here, you meet more people. It makes you more outgoing, and makes you want to go out and meet more people and teach them about God.

“You realize that [priests and seminarians] are pretty much just normal guys like everyone else. That’s pretty cool. It’s interesting because you realize that it could also be for you.”
 

(For more information on Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary, log on to www.archindy.org/bsb.)

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