“Thy Kingdom Come!”

A close, personal friendship with Christ took root in me.

Father Andrew Gronotte, LC

I entered the apostolic school in 1998 at the age of 13. At the Immaculate Conception Apostolic School (ICAS), in New Hampshire I discovered God’s call for me in the Legion. I was introduced to ICAS by a Legionary priest, Fr Matthew Von Smoorenburg. He invited me on a trip in Easter of 1998, and I loved it. The following summer I joined. The time I spent there was essential in following my call. Those years set the foundation for me to be able to respond better to God’s call. The apostolic school gave me a way to channel my youthful enthusiasm to God and to His call.

Sports, prayer, competitions, yard work, classes, all were great means for me to grow and let God’s call grow in me. Through the guidance of the priests and seminarians there I was able to lay the foundation to form habits that have matured over the years in the seminary. I remember one morning one of the priests, invited me to make a visit to the Eucharist after breakfast, we did it constantly for a good while. Simple things like this have formed lasting habits.

Every spring we would have to wax the wood floors in the old house. We had to do it late at night when no one would walk on them and let them dry till the next morning. With a few of my classmates, we would dedicate an hour every night for a week to wax the floors. Even though it was tough work, having to make the sacrifice of sleep and doing a service to the community, it was a great lesson for me.

Playing sports every day was enjoyable. I liked playing and having a good healthy competition was great. During the summer months we would often organize sports tournaments or our own Olympics for the boys at the school. This helped me learn how to impassion others to achieve a goal.

Not all was perfect either. There were tough moments. Classes were something that I didn’t enjoy.  Having classmates who were very smart and willing to help was probably what got me through those years of class. No cheating, but just others taking the time to help me with the difficulties I was having in class helped me through them. Support in difficult times was something I could count on.

Going through adolescence there was a lot of things that I was going through and didn’t understand. Being mentored and having great friends gave me something stable that I could hold on to and fall back on. Going through the school there was one thing that took root that I hope I will never loose, friendship with Christ. This is the rock on which my vocation has been built and the focal point around which my life revolves.

 

Note: The Immaculate Conception Apostolic School (ICAS) in New Hampshire later merged with Sacred Heart Apostolic School in Indiana.