Manual Labor

"The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist." (Pope St. Gregory the Great)

There are two kinds of work at the Seminary: regular house chores, and department jobs. All seminarians are responsible for both kinds of work.

House Chores

Household chores, like setting tables, washing dishes, waiting tables, and sweeping stairs are performed by all seminarians on a weekly rotation.  The long hours of scrubbing dishes and mopping floors teach seminarians a spirit of sacrifice and humility as nothing else can.

The wisdom and practicality of the jobs schedule is seen mostly at meals, when the various crews of seminarians work to accomplish their tasks adequately. The meals are structured so that a dinner for more than a hundred people is prepared, served, and cleaned up by less than a quarter of that number, in a timely and orderly manner.

One of the biggest challenges for new seminarians is learning the House Jobs.  New arrivals are often assigned with an older seminarian at each job until they have learned the basics. Although all seminarians often find House Jobs very tedious and monotonous, they help them to learn the value of a simple task done for Our Lord.

Department Jobs

Department jobs let a seminarian help the community while also learning a skill useful for his future ministry.  As in the parable of the talents, he that is faithful in lesser things proves that he can be trusted with the greater matters of the priesthood.  Seminarians usually start with a less important job and gradually advance to a position with more authority and responsibility.  Thus they acquire experience in organization and leadership for the day when they must manage parishes.

Responsibilities of a department can be quite heavy.  Here are some of the various departments and their responsibilities: 

  • The Sacristy Department must maintain twelve separate altars, plus Mass linens, vestments, and sacred vessels for the many priests at the Seminary.
  • The MC Department trains all seminarians to serve and assist at Holy Mass, Benediction, Divine Office, and other liturgical functions. 
  • The Schola and Organ Departments are responsible for the beauty of the sacred music in the liturgy. 
  • The Infirmary Department provides care and medical attention to any sick or injured seminarians. 
  • The Guest Department makes sure that visitors are comfortable. 
  • The Grounds Department works year round caring for the Seminary’s extensive property.
  • The Computer Department maintains the Seminary computers and network, and assists priests and seminarians with computer questions and troubleshooting.
  • The Library Department maintains the Seminary library and assists priests and seminarians with using the library and checking out books.
  • The Auto Department works on and maintains the priests' vehicles, which are often used for mission runs.
  • The Art Department does a wide variety of tasks applying their artistic skills to create or repair a variety of works of art.