To spend some time praying, fishing, and laughing out loud at Land O'Lakes, MI during the summer has proven to be one of the most refreshing and renewing times for me. The property, formerly owned by the Congregation but now owned and operated by ND is comprised of 7,650 acres, 2,000 of which is water.
I missed the camp last year since I was busily finishing course work and placing the final details on my M.A. Thesis, but am glad to be back now. An added blessing this summer is the presence of many of my peers in Holy Cross. So, this is a great time for conversation and reflection on our young lives as priests in the Congregation. In addition, the more elder and esteemed members of the Congregation are present. I enjoy their history lessons or words of wisdom around the dinner table and on the back porch.
I use this luxury of time and place by arising for coffee, prayer, and more coffee. Lunch is simple with a home made soup. I spend the afternoon reading and I have a large list of titles I hope to finish before summer work. A Mass is offered at 7AM and 4PM followed by social and the main evening meal.
As the other fellows hop out onto the boats for sunset fishing, I grab a book and usually a cigar and await their return. That's when a rambunctious game of cards is played, banter is shared, and the problems of the world are solved one by one. Then, everything is repeated for the next day.
(UPDATE: 6/3/08) Frs. Tom Eckert, Kevin Russeau, and I headed out to Plum Lake last night after dinner. They fished while I piloted and worked the net. And indeed the net was needed with Fr. Tom pulling in large Northern Pike and Walleye fish.