Seminarians enjoy an Aussie Rules induction

By Jackson Saunders
Sandhurst Seminarian

footy 450We have reached the business end of Semester One. Classes have now finished and exams are just around the corner. While there has been lots of study over recent months, it’s also been a semester filled with lots of joy and prayer.  The highlights have included an excursion to the MCG to watch the AFL, the Brotherhood Cup soccer tournament and a recollection weekend.There is something special about visiting the MCG and there is always a touch of excitement within me whenever I make the pilgrimage to the ‘G’. This excitement was shared with about 30 seminarians when we attended Friday night football at the MCG on Friday, May 11, for the match between Hawthorn and Sydney. For many of the seminarians it was the first time that they had been to this iconic ground.
They were blown away by this extraordinary stadium, which is so much part of our sports culture in Australia. The game was superb also with Sydney winning by 8 points in a thriller against the Hawks, 12.7 (79) to 10.11 (71). A highlight included third-gamer Ben Ronke, 20, kicking seven goals for Sydney, including the first five of the match for the Swans.In the stands we sat stunned as we watched the scintillating individual performance. The boys were up and about for the game at the ‘G’, and had been equipped with a list of AFL slang for the match. Prior to the game we had enjoyed our Friday night community bar and barbecue at the seminary.
During the announcements that night prior to our barbecue dinner, there was a special edition of the seminary’s ‘Aussie Slang of the week’. As an avid AFL and Aussie Slang fan, I proposed two phrases that could be used that night at the footy. The first proposal included a live demonstration in the Corpus Christi College seminary dining room. I had brought my Aussie Rules football to dinner and handpassed it to Melbourne seminarians James Baptist and then to Jude Johnson.
They were both tackled fiercely by Adelaide seminarian, Anthony Beltrame, who yelled out: “Ball.” I suggested that the phrase: “Ball!” would be used lots at the footy that night and suggested that the boys may like to join in with the crowd in yelling: ‘Ball!’ As this demonstration took place, staff and students shared a good laugh together. 
The second Aussie Slang expression proposed was ‘chewy on your boot,’ which I explained was a phrase yelled out by the crowd and players on the ground to distract players as they kicked for goal.  Other Aussie footy slangs were posted on the seminary's noticeboard and have been included alongside the article in this month’s SandPiper.Inspired by the visit to the ‘G’, the next day Corpus Christi College participated in the 2018 Brotherhood Cup soccer tournament. We fell just short of winning the prestigious championship.The seminary’s team, which was nicknamed the ‘Pelicans,’ played against the Salesians in the decider of the round-robin tournament. This was a nickname spontaneously given to the Corpus Christi soccer team as I commentated the matches. The nickname was chosen because a pelican is on our seminary logo. It was a fierce battle between the two sides. Scores were tied at nil-all at half-time, before the Salesians kicked the only goal of the match mid-way through the second half to claim the victory.
The Salesians won 1 goal to nil.This meant that the Salesians finished the day with two wins, which was enough to claim the Brotherhood Cup 2018 title. Other sides competing during the tournament included YTU and the MGLs. Earlier results for the Corpus Christi Pelicans included a draw at 1-all in the first game against Yarra Theological College. This was followed by a comprehensive victory of the Missionaries of God’s Love, 5-1.Another highlight of the semester included a Recollection Weekend in early May. This occasion was like a mini retreat for us to think about how the year has gone so far and to take a break from the busy seminary schedule. All year groups went to different retreat centres around Melbourne to enjoy a couple of days of prayer and relaxation. These centres provided beautiful settings for prayer.
There were chapels, as well as beautiful gardens and nearby walks to enjoy. Each recollection weekend included talks to reflect on, as well as articles to read on aspects of formation and the priestly life. The weekend also included time for recreation and bonding with our brother seminarians. My year group had the privilege of completing our retreat under the leadership of Fr Jake Mudge at St Paul’s Retreat Centre in Wantirna South. Fr Jake led us in a wonderful weekend of prayer and reflection.
Some of the topics of discussion included Pope Francis’ emphasis on loving mercy, as well as the need to maintain strong relationships with family, friends and priests. In addition, Fr Jake shared with us powerful stories about things he has learned in ministry as a priest both in the Sandhurst Diocese and in Rome, where he recently spent four and a half years to complete further studies. There was also good time for recreation. This included a friendly but somewhat heated discussion between myself, Fr Jake and two Ballarat seminarians about the cross-town rivalry between the two iconic gold-mining towns of Ballarat and Bendigo.Semester One will conclude in mid-June. Our program for June includes our Corpus Christi College Feast Day celebrations, which are scheduled to take place across the first weekend of June. The program for the weekend will include 24 hours of prayer for various intentions, with seminarians each spending an hour in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from the night of Friday, June 1.
Adoration will continue overnight until the following evening. Other highlights of the weekend will include visits to aged-care homes in the Melbourne area. Sunday, June 3, which celebrates the feast of Corpus Christi will then include a Solemn Mass and Eucharistic procession.
That evening we will host priests of Victoria and Tasmania for a dinner at the seminary. In the week to follow, we will have a revision week to prepare for exams, as well as a mid-year Mass and dinner at our university, Catholic Theological College. On exam eve, I will then make a brief return to Bendigo for my institution as an Acolyte at the 11am Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Bendigo on Sunday, June 10. 
This is one of the five formal steps on the journey towards priesthood. The ceremonies prior to ordination to the priesthood include the installation as Lector, which I received last year. This is followed by Acolyte institution, the admission to candidacy, diaconate ordination and finally ordination to the priesthood. I ask for your prayers as I prepare for my acolyte installation and warmly welcome you to the occasion at the Cathedral on June 10.
As seminarians, we continue to keep the people of the Sandhurst Diocese in our prayers. We also express our thanks for your continued prayerful support of our studies and thank you for joining us in praying for more vocations to the priesthood in the Sandhurst Diocese.

Photo: Seminarians enjoy a visit to the football at the MCG.


AFL Slang Posted On The Seminary Noticeboard

Ball: The crowd thinks that the player has not tried to give away the footy. 

Chewy on your boot: Supporters yell this out to try to distract players from kicking for goal. 

Corridor: To take the footy up the centre of the ground.

Hail Mary: A kick or handball that is not well planned and executed in hope. 

Hospital Pass: A really high kick, which is very dangerous. 

Mongrel Punt Kick: An ugly kick. 

Sherrin: The football. 

Smother: Someone stops the ball from being kicked properly. 

Specky: A big jump and a high mark. Ump: The umpire. 

Worm burner:  A kick that skids along the ground. 

Wrapped up: The footy is locked among lots of players and cannot get out.

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