Thanksgiving Free Day - Calm before the Storm

Source: St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary

This year, as in previous years, seminarians enjoyed a “Free Day” on Thanksgiving Day. Free Days occur a few times per year for the purpose of allowing seminarians to relax and release the nervous tension which gradually accumulates due to the intensity of Seminary life. The Thanksgiving Free Day is well-situated in the academic year to allow the seminarians a brief rest before beginning the penitential focus of the Advent season and the mental fatigue of semester exams.

On Free Days, seminarians and those in the brothers' novitiate are permitted to be absent from the Seminary after morning Mass until evening Compline. Certain kinds of excursions require the approval of the Seminary Rector. In practice, traditional Thanksgiving events keep most members of the community “at home” during at least part of the day.

The “Turkey Trot” appeals to the stout-heart joggers among the community. The less zealous might prefer to enjoy the rare opportunity of eating donuts at a Seminary breakfast. A notable change this year was the scheduling of the “Turkey Bowl” in the morning rather than after lunch to allow the players to enjoy the traditional Thanksgiving meal – without the traditional misgivings. Turkey Bowl XXXIV took place despite three inches of snow and a temperature of 10°. Final score: 44-22 in favor of the team captained (ironically) by a deacon from California. For many, the day ended with a bonfire cookout where those who wished to brave the frigid temperatures enjoyed the traditional “man-burgers”.