Taking a New Year’s Plunge for Mary
Seminarians Peter Langenkamp, Jacob Willig, and Deacon Chris Geiger joined Fr. Ethan Moore for a New Year’s Day plunge into the chilly waters of Lake Loramie (near Minster, Ohio) to consecrate 2016 to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“This was my ninth year to take the plunge for Our Mother,” says Fr. Ethan. “Next year is going to be big. For the 10th anniversary, we’re going to get [seminary rector] Fr. Benedict O’Cinnsealaigh to jump in with us, and maybe even Archbishop Schnurr.
“I’ve asked the Archbishop to join us the last couple years, but for some reason, he has declined.”
Fr. Ethan is the parochial vicar of St. Peter Parish (Huber Heights), Our Lady of the Rosary Parish (Dayton), and Holy Cross Parish (Dayton). He came up with the idea after spending New Year’s day with friends in San Diego who had a tradition of jumping into a nearby lake on January 1. “It seemed like a good idea, but Lake Loramie, near my family’s home, is usually frozen in January,” he says. “So we made it sort of a family tradition: My dad cuts the hole in the ice; my mom allows me to do it; and I jump in.”
Over the past five years several seminarians have taken up the challenge of the icy plunge.
This year, Fr. Ethan says, “there wasn’t any ice, so we weren’t expecting it to be really cold. Boy, were we wrong. It was really windy, so getting out of the water was awful. Peter Langenkamp was ready to jump back in.”
The symbolic leap has become a way of consecrating the New Year to the Blessed Mother on her feast day. “Deacon Chris Geiger will be plunging into the priesthood this year. Peter will be plunging into the diaconate. We all offer the year to Our Mother,” Fr. Ethan says, “and hope she takes some joy in our action.”
Photo copyright: Luke Gronneberg, Sidney Daily News, courtesy The Athenaeum of Ohio.
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