I was caught off guard the first time I called Bruté my home. During a break my Freshman year I told my parents I had to go back home to Bruté. It sounded so strange, but those words just rolled off the tongue so naturally. Rather quickly, Bruté felt like a home that I always longed for: real men and brothers devoted to discerning God’s will. My first glimpse at this community happened during Marian’s orientation the summer leading to my Freshman year. I was eating lunch with Mark Vojas, Robert Ross, and Jayke White as we spoke about discernment and our joy at coming to the seminary. A wave of acceptance washed over me as I felt myself fitting in with this group of guys. In that moment of time, I found where I belonged.
My favorite memories include every day normalcies with a fair dose of random. I remember when Fr. Bob would walk down the freshman hallway on his way to his apartment. As he passed each door, he would lean into the room and wish us a good night. It seems so simple, but I smiled each time I heard his voice. He spoke with a sincere heart even though his words were predictable. They always included, “You know, you’re a really good guy,” or “I’m really glad you’re here.” The routine and the love made it memorable.
I will always cherish the raisin puffs by Fr. Joe as he carried a hot pan of cookies throughout the seminary with the sweet fragrance lingering behind. Either the smell of freshly baked cookies or the distant sound of Irish songs pleasantly informed the seminarians of that glorious time of year.
I will always miss the many interruptions by my brothers as they stopped by my room on the way to the kitchen late at night—probably to grab more endless sweets that never seem to diminish from the counter tops. It would be challenging to get through seminary without the strong support by my brothers. Together, we form a family in Christ.
I love the seminary, and it is close to my heart for it daily brings me closer to Christ. However, my happy memories would not be complete without that which makes me feel most at home: Jesus in the Eucharist. I have spent countless hours near Christ in the chapels. I pray that He will always be my first memory that I have of Bruté. Any time I felt that gentle tug on my heart inviting me to prayer, I placed myself before the Eucharist.
Those quick stops by one of the three chapels on Marian’s campus between classes saved me over the past four years. And those, although rare, late nights with me sobbing in Bruté’s chapel redirected my drooping spirit. From those joyful memories with my brothers to those challenging nights with Christ, I found my home here at Bruté. It was here in this place and at these times that I knew exactly where I was meant to be. Thank you, Jesus, for giving me such a blessed home.
Phillip Rogier is a seminarian for the Diocese of Evansville and a member of the class of 2019.