Brute July 2020 enews
In this email we bring you our continuing monthly series of blogs written by our seminarians. We hope you find their writings to be spiritually uplifting and educational.
New People, Same Story
On pleasant days when the sun is shining and the temperature is moderate, I enjoy walking to and from class at Marian. On the way back from class, I am always greeted by the unchanging stone facade of a building which is out of place in the Midwest. It looks like it would fit better as a castle ruin in Ireland or France, yet there it stands intact and guarded by a metal gate that reads, “Carmelite Monastery”. Passing through this gate and into the grassy grounds of the property, one can better behold the Castle (and it is a Castle) which is protected by a large stone wall which one could easily say “keeps the crazies out” just as much as it “keeps the crazies in” (that’s just a joke about college seminarians).
Just inside the wall lies an outer courtyard which hosts two Marian shrines, two large crosses, plenty of trees, and a place for seminarian recreation. It is a very contemplative area that radiates a sense of peace and is always a nice place to visit when I need a break from a particularly stressful assignment. I usually begin my prayer in the courtyard by sitting before the statue of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and talking to her. I will then begin to pray the rosary while walking, meditating on the mysterious as I go with the natural beauty of the grounds around me. I try to end my rosary standing before one particular cross which marks the area where the Carmelites (the former inhabitants) used to be buried. That may seem morbid at first, but to me it is a reminder of what it means to live and die with Christ. I also find it comforting to know a few generations of pious people walked and prayed in the exact spot that I may be walking in. The awareness of the Communion of Saints is very much alive and well at Bruté!
Heading inside, one is greeted by a building which was designed by the original owners. Featuring medieval-style architecture, one would forget that he is a college student living in 21st Century America were it not for access to the internet! Inside the building there are white walls and archways made of large stone, a few winding staircases, and a simple but beautiful chapel. I have heard it said that the reason behind the plain white walls is because Carmelite spirituality has an aspect of “self-emptying” to it which I like to keep in mind for my own enlightenment. I also find that this plainness easily fosters a more contemplative disposition within me and helps to grow in goods of the soul. I find Bruté to be a perfect place for discernment.
I also find there to be something profound about how this building was once home to a religious community and now it is home to a similar sort of community. The former community lived out their vocations and the current community discerns their vocations. Everyone who has ever called this building home has laid down his or her life in service to God. Further, this building has always been a house of communal prayer. We have Mass in the same place that they did, we pray and eat together like they did, and many of us even reside in the same cells that the sisters did. Despite their absence, I believe that we at the seminary keep alive their way of life and are positively impacted by them in our discernment.
is a Bruté seminarian studying for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and a member of the Class of 2022.
Learn more about Nicholas
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To inquire about seminarian admissions or to arrange a tour of Brute Seminary, contact Sr. Sharon Kuhn, OSB, administrative coordinator, at
or call 317-924-4100.
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or call 317-236-1568.
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on Wednesday, July 1 at 8:00AM