Wednesday, May. 25th 2016

Beyond Conception: Andrew G. Prepares for Prayer in Action

During the summer months, many seminarians are given assignments in their home dioceses that are tailored to be enriching experiences to continue their formation outside the walls of Conception Seminary College.  Beyond Conception will be a weekly series of articles checking in on the seminarians of CSC during their summer break.

After departing from Conception Seminary College in the middle of May, many seminarians will be given summer assignments. These may range anywhere from teaching catechetics to living in a parish to working in a summer camp. I am lucky enough that I will be working at a program called Prayer and Action. Prayer and Action is a mission program where high school students from all across the Archdiocese of KCK will come and work to help people in need. This can range anywhere from painting a person’s house, cleaning up someone’s yard, or helping them clean out the unneeded things in their house. I worked this program last summer and it was an amazing experience and a ton of fun.

This summer seems to be a promising one. We have eight people on staff, four of whom are seminarians. The team does not arrive until June 1, and the kids do not come until July 12. Once the team arrives, the eight of us will jump right in since there is much to be done like assigning positions and fundraising. Prayer and Action in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas runs on zero dollar budget, which means that everything that we need and use throughout the summer is donated This includes all supplies for working on the house and food for the 60 kids plus staff and chaperones!

Up until the seminarians begin their perspective summer assignments, the majority of us consider this our time off from school and assignments. Since I returned home on May 15, I have kept myself fairly busy. I have visited fellow seminarians from my diocese who attend other schools, I have traveled down to Wichita, Kansas to see some friends who have left Conception Seminary College to pursue a different vocation, and I have spent time at home with my parents. The big thing that my father and I have been working on (when I am able to come home from time to time) is converting my old 1969 Chevy C10 Stepside truck from a 327 carbureted engine to a 5.3L fuel injected engine. We have gotten the thing started, but are needing to finish little things here and there, such as installing the new air conditioning unit and finishing off the interior.

Although the seminarians are on vacation does not mean that we are allowed to take a “vacation from our vocation.” We are required to still attend Mass daily, pray the Liturgy of the Hours, and to live a life worthy of a seminarian. We are to live our lives as if we are still at the seminary, the same expectations are expected of us as if we were still there. The summer months can be very difficult for seminarians because of the change from a very structured to a not so structured life, but as our previous vice-rector used to say “All things are formational.” This change of pace is good for us because we need to learn how to live in all aspects of life as parish priests that are not always easy.

Please continue to pray for all of us during these summer months that we may faithfully give ourselves to our assignments so that we may return back to school in the fall re-energized to give ourselves in service to the Church more and more each day.


Andrew Gaffney is a seminarian of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. Next year he will be a senior at Conception Seminary College.

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