By Donnie Kuzma
Diocese of Alexandria Seminarian
As my alarm goes off at 5:00 a.m., I begin my day by rubbing my eyes, asking for Our Lady’s assistance, and quickly jumping in the shower before I realize how tired I still am. I finish getting dressed around 5:30 a.m., and head straight for the coffee pot.
After my coffee finishes brewing, I sit outside (weather permitting) for an hour. During this hour I read through my first obligation: The Breviary’s Office of Readings, which is a set of psalms followed by sections from other Old Testament books and some writings from the saints and Church Councils. These readings take roughly 20 minutes.
After I finish my Office, I take the next 40 minutes reading through the news and checking sports scores. At 6:30 a.m., I go into the chapel at Notre Dame for an hour of Eucharistic Adoration, Bible reading, and Rosary. At 7:30 a.m., the second round of Breviary readings begin with Morning Prayer, which leads me into my first class at 8:00 a.m.
My classes, which include Scripture, Pastoral Ministry, Fundamental Theology, Liturgy, and Spirituality, last from 8:00 a.m .- 11:25 a.m. I have a quick break to catch my breath and then Mass at 11:45 a.m.
Lunch follows Mass; Notre Dame has a cafeteria and offers a variety of different options. From 12:30 – 5:45 p.m., I am capable of setting my own schedule. During this block of time, I am able to catch up on some of my pastoral ministry and community projects, as well as homework. My pastoral work includes meeting with two elderly people, once a week each, for about an hour. Sometimes we just sit and talk, other times we go out for a meal, whatever they want to do and whatever they want to talk about is our only agenda. This is my most treasured time of the week as their life lessons help me grow both spiritually and as a future pastor. I believe my visits are efficacious for them too, as I attempt to help them manage their own issues, which primary are concerned with the faithfulness of their children. I often remind them that prayer is the most powerful thing in the universe and that our surrender to divine providence will be rewarded by our merciful Lord.
Moving on, my community obligations are three-fold. First, I am the Theology 1 class president and my duties including organizing a Mass serving schedule, and being the academic liaison between the faculty and my classmates. Any complaints my classmates have go through me, and I do my best to express their concerns to formation.
Second, I started a wiffleball league for the seminary, which is made up of 40 seminarians and 8 teams. In addition to playing in the league, I umpire all of the games and keep detailed statistics that I release to the entire community through a weekly, satirical newsletter. The wiffleball league has been a huge hit!
On Fridays, I go to football practice in preparation for our annual big game with St. Ben’s Seminary in Covington, which is played every year the Friday before Thanksgiving.
On Sundays, I go to my Legion of Mary meeting, which is a Marion-centered prayer group dedicated to evangelization. Those groups (and homework) fill the majority of my 12:30 – 5:45 p.m. block.
At 5:45 p.m., we go into our next “hour” of the Breviary, which is followed by dinner.
After dinner, around 6:30 p.m., I start to tie up loose ends from the day: homework, more wiffleball, responding to emails, and mentally relaxing with friends.
My night ends with Night Prayer and bedtime around 10:00 p.m. As I place my head on my pillow, the day finally slows down, but I’m thankful for the fullness of the schedule because, as the old saying goes, the devil sits on an idle horse.