The University of St. Thomas

Center for Catholic Studies | Habiger Institute

A Day at Castel Milano

A Day at Castel Milano

A Day in the Life of the Fraternity of St. Michael/Men's house
by William Manaker 

God, come to my assistance.

Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father…


            These are the words which begin the day of a man of the Fraternity of St. Michael.  Each morning, we make a pilgrimage to Florance Chapel on campus to chant Morning Prayer at six-thirty and then attend Mass at seven.  We start our day much earlier than most college students, but we do so intentionally: to unite ourselves in prayer, ask for the Lord’s help, and consecrate the day to Christ.  This time spent in prayer with our brothers is the most important thing we do each day; it gives spiritual depth to the life of the Fraternity and sustains us for the work of the day that is ahead.

            I usually eat breakfast before we leave the house for Morning Prayer, so after Mass I spend a few minutes in prayer and then head off to classes for the day.  Study is important for us in the Fraternity; however, class and homework is only a part of how we live out our vocation as students.  We often have conversations about things we are studying, and we occasionally attend talks and presentations as a Fraternity.  Ultimately, we try to make study a way of life rather than simply something we have to do.

            I am a member of the cross country team, so in the afternoon I go to practice and take part in a physical workout that complements the mental one which my studies give me.  After practice, I head back to the house, taking my time and saying the Rosary along the way.  On Mondays this semester we have Formation Night—an evening that includes dinner as a Fraternity as well as a short talk on some area of formation.  This formative element is essential to the life of the Fraternity—it makes more than just a group of guys who happen to be living together.  This semester we also have house dinners on Wednesday.  Our house dinners are a time for us to build fraternity among the men in the house.  We will often have a guest or two over as well so that the joy and spirit we have as a Fraternity can be shared with others. 

            Once dinner is over, we all pitch in to help clean up and wash the dishes.  After a bit more homework, it is time to sleep.  I head up to my room, examine the day in prayer, and ask for grace to persevere in serving the Lord.  In the morning, it will be time to begin the cycle again.