Photo: Christ’s Love in Appalachia
Reflection by seminarian Jedidiah Tritle – Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Pastoral Internship
Summers for seminarians can involve anything from parish-residencies to trips to the Holy Land, but one Mount St. Mary’s summer tradition has remained a constant for the past few years. In recent summers, several seminarians have traveled south of the Ohio border and just a hair west of West Virginia to the Father Beiting Appalachian Mission Center in scenic Louisa (KY). This year’s group (myself included) was led by the recently ordained Fr. Sean Wilson, bolstered by Deacon Peter Langenkamp, and included men from second and third year theology to round out the numbers.
The Father Beiting Appalachian Mission Center brings in volunteer groups weekly for the summer for a variety of projects; one such project is a boys’ camp which was started by Fr. Beiting himself years ago and has remained a major source of fun, evangelization, and fraternity for the boys of Louisa. Seminarians led the boys in lessons and activities about Jesus, St. Peter, and St. Paul each morning during the camp. The afternoons were filled with good times swimming at the local lake, kayaking, grilling, and telling ridiculous stories around a campfire before bed. Despite leaving exhausted after a week filled with long days and hot weather, the experience was both deeply rewarding for those of us who volunteered and—most importantly—a fun and instructive time for the boys who came to the camp. We invite our brother seminarians to get involved in this impoverished and under-evangelized community in Kentucky, and we hope to keep traveling down to Louisa for years to come!
Photo by Cindy Capria courtesy Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West, for a gallery of photos from the mission, click here.
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