On Sunday, March 9, 2014, more than 30 boys, dads
and Legionaries departed for a trip to visit the Sacred
Heart Apostolic School in Rolling Prairie, Indiana. The following blogs
excerpted from http://texasconquestblog.blogspot.com/ detail the experience through the eyes of
Ian, a 12-year-old from San Antonio, and a dad, Jose,
by Ian Crossey, San Antonio, Texas
Sacred Heart Journals Day
On Monday we finished our trip to Sacred Heart
Apostolic School. We arrived at about noon and had a
great tour by an Apostolic. After the tour we visited
the chapel and said the Angelus. At lunch we were
introduced to the rules and told to mingle with the
Apostolics and Canadian (visitors). At my table I sat with
three Apostolics…but I noticed a kid sitting alone at a
table. I went over and invited him to our table.
Later I found out he was (from Canada) and was
really talkative, therefore he got the Apostolics and I laughing
and finally talking to each other.
of sledding. Afterwards, we all took the long trek up
a massive hill close by. Once at the top, several
of us tried different ways of sliding down, some face
first, feet first, "Surfboarding", and body sledding. After that, some
of the guys built two awesome snow men while others
started an epic snowball fight with the goal being of
destroying the snowmen. Only one survived! From there we took
a hike to Lake Michigan.
lunch we went over to the sand dunes, only about
a thirty minute drive. Everyone had their own sled, and
we went on a beginner slope to get the hang
Once at Lake Michigan…we saw a
frozen wave! We did not go onto the ice far
enough to touch it, but we took several pictures. Many
of us walked on the frozen shallows and now we
are not lying when we say, "I walked on Lake
Michigan!" or "I walked on Water!" … and finally in
about twenty minutes we got the bus over the slope
and drove back to the school.
We all took showers, changed,
and went to Mass. After Mass we ate dinner and
went back to the dorm and changed into our relaxed
clothes. After a bit we went to the gym and
played three rounds of dodgeball. No one was the real
winner because teams were put on different sides in all
three rounds. Next we went to the smaller chapel and
said night prayers. We then went back to the dorm
and fell asleep in about twenty minutes.
Sacred Heart Journals Day
After a hard wake up at six-thirty we got
ready for Mass and had our best dressed competition.
Mass we ate breakfast and had our gospel reflection in
the conference room. We played some sports and then took
a bus ride to the Studebaker Museum and learned about
many cars, tanks, and airplanes, some used by the military.
The best thing that I saw at the Museum was
the Presidential Limousine. It was really tiny to be a
limousine, but I still thought it was awesome!
On the ride
back to the school, we stopped at a turf field
and played touch-football. We then
headed back to the school
and arrived just in time for lunch. After lunch we
headed to the game room and gym and played soccer,
ping-pong, pool, and board games. After dinner we went to
the conference room for the talk show, "Meet the Apostolic"!
After the show we went back to the dorm and
rested for a bit. Most people were about to go
to bed, but then Brother Jared came in to the
dormitory and asked, "Who wants to play dodge ball with
Everyone jumped out of their beds and hurried
down to the gym! At the end of the blood-boiling
game the Texans won. We then said good night to
Mary and (finally) went to bed!
Sacred Heart Journals Day
Some of us helped make beignets (pastries, for breakfast) and
shovel snow off the sidewalk in the morning. We thought
it was good to help the Apostolics because they made
all the meals for us and cleaned up the tables
after the meals, therefore the least we could do was
help with chores. It was fun figuring out what the
Apostolics do as chores and then helping them out.
breakfast and Mass we went to Notre Dame for a
tour. It was really awesome! All of their statues have
football nicknames, such as Touchdown Jesus, First Down Moses, and
The Holy Handoff. On top of the Main Campus Building
was an 8-foot tall statue of Mary. A thin layer
of gold covered the statue of Mary, but all of
the gold together could fit in an average person’s fist.
At the basilica, there was a reliquary and a
lot of icons. In the reliquary were pieces of the
true Cross and relics from all 12 Apostles and 780
other saints. We also went to the Grotto, which was
a replica of the real (Lourdes) grotto in France, and
said the Angelus there.
We then went to the Ice
Box Skating Rink and played hockey. The game was intense
and hard to keep up with at the pace I
was skating. My team lost in the end, but we
did not care. We do not even have ice in
|Notre Dame Cathedral dome|
Texas so why complain?
Sacred Heart Journal Day 4
Father Michael Sullivan
arrived and was the priest for Mass. After Mass we
went to breakfast, and then made two awesome snowball forts
for a snowball fight. One of the forts was called
the Alamo. The team that held the Alamo won, therefore
they re-wrote Texas History! After the snowball fight we went
into the woods and made a fire, and waited for
the smores, hot chocolate, and gold fish….(then) we were going
back to the field covered in snow to play football.
The football game was awesome and everyone was falling over
in the snow and distracting the quarterback with snowballs! We
were all starving and went to lunch.
From lunch to
dinner we played in the gym and game room that
was awesome. We all love dodge ball and I had
a great time playing it with my teammates. After dinner
we went to the chapel with the Apostolics and prayed
a rosary. I really like the way they pray it
with the leader saying the Holy Mary part and everyone
else saying the Hail Mary part for the next decade….We
then said good night to Mary and went to bed.
Rodriguez, a Houston, Texas, Dad
Sacred Heart Journals Day 1
18 hours of travel, we arrived to Sacred Heart Apostolic
School in Rolling Prairie, Indiana. As soon as we arrived,
we received a warm welcome by the Director and General
Dean of the Apostolic school, Father Ronald and Father Jason.
Father Ronald showed the dads our room which was nicknamed
"The dads´ frat house."
Shortly after, Alan Rodriguez, apostolic student gave
us a tour of the school. After the tour, we
all met in the dining room for lunch. We then
got ready and headed out to the Warren Sand dunes
|Reliquary at Notre Dame|
state park where everyone sledded down the snow covered dunes.
It was great to see some of the younger boys
overcome their initial fear of sledding down. After their first
time down, they didn´t want to stop sledding…down those dunes!
After sledding, we all walked over to see Lake Michigan
and it was frozen! We were actually able to stand
on the frozen lake! After this great experience, we now
have bragging rights to say we walked on water!
headed back to Sacred Heart for a much needed shower
and change of clothes. After freshening up, we had Mass
in the Sacred heart chapel celebrated by both Father Michaels.
We then ate, prayed night prayers and called it a
night. I slept like a baby.
Sacred Heart Journals Day 2
The day began with 7:00 am mass. We then ate
breakfast and immediately after, headed to the Studebaker National Museum
in South Bend, Indiana. It was such a great historical
experience! The Studebaker Company went from building wagons and carriages
in the 1910’s to building cars and trucks in the
1940’s. Studebaker even built jet engines and army tanks for
the World War. Their motto was "Give more than you
promise." Even though Studebaker stopped production of cars in 1964,
I believe they accomplished their mission. This great company is
a great inspiration to all Americans. Not only did Studebaker
build beautiful classy cars, they also built race cars! No
wonder all the boys were in awe after seeing all
of the Studebaker models in the museum. After the museum
tour, we asked several of the boys questions about what
they learned about the Studebaker company and to my surprise,
several of them knew when the company started and were
able to name several of the different Studebaker models!
the museum, we went to a nearby park with a
soccer field made out of Astroturf. Since we had a
football with us, we decided to play a game of
touch football. There was definitely some great passing and running
plays. At the same time, there were some boys that
were not really into football, so they started a snow
ball fight with Father Michael Vanderbeek. (Personally, I think Father
Michael lost the fight.)
After the football game, we needed
to head back to Sacred Heart for lunch. We barely
made it in time and were able to have lunch
with the apostolic students and the Legionary brothers and priests
that are in charge of the school. After lunch, we
could tell that the boys were still energized so Brother
Jared, Brother Drew, and Brother Jesus gave the boys several
activity options: snow ball fight, indoor soccer, and game room
which included, pool, ping pong, and air hockey. The boys
picked and chose their activities and went off with their
After dinner, the boys had an opportunity to ask
the apostolic students questions about their experience at Sacred Heart
and how they ended up as apostolic students. Their responses
were very motivating to hear. Some expressed that they had
been wanting to be priests since they were young and
others had lived retreats at the school and eventually became
attracted to the Legion and eventually the priesthood. The apostolic
students also expressed that they were extremely thankful to God
for such a generous upbringing provided by their parents. With
this conviction, they wanted to give back to God and
wanted to do God´s will….
Last but not least, our boys
ended the day with a dodge ball competition against another
Conquest group from Canada. The competition was fierce; however, I
believe that at the end the TexasConquest boys were victorious.
After the healthy competition, we had benediction and said good
night to Mary and then it was lights out.
Journals Day 3
This morning some of the boys woke up
early to shovel the snow off the front sidewalk. Some
of the other boys helped an apostolic student make beignets
for breakfast. I have been noticing more and more acts
of charity from the boys as time passes by. This
is of no surprise to me. Since the start of
the trip, we have had daily Mass, confession opportunities, daily
rosary, examination of conscience and daily prayer. Thank you Fathers
After Mass and a delicious breakfast, we headed off
to tour the University of Notre Dame in South Bend,
Indiana. The most impressive part of the tour for me
was the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and the Reliquary
Chapel. The chapel contains more than 1600 relics representing more
than 780 saints including all 12 apostles. Another impressive area
of the university is the grotto which is an actual
smaller scale replica of the original grotto in France. The
boys had an opportunity to pray a Hail Mary and
light up prayer candles.
We then went to the Ice
Box skating rink to play ice hockey. Everyone started ice
skating. There were some boys that did not know how
to skate…Brother Jared and Father Michael Picard were assisting these
boys. On the other hand, you could tell that some
of the boys had skated before and were very confident.
Within 20 minutes of getting on the ice, the hockey
teams started forming. The competition was fierce!
After the ice
skating and pizza, we headed back to the school. We
showered and prayed our rosary. Father Michael Sullivan and Father
Darren held a Q&A session for the boys and dads.
The boys started asking Father Michael questions about the priesthood
and asked Father Darren questions about the requirements on becoming
an Apostolic. He explained that there were some requirements before
becoming an apostolic student, one being an openness to the
priesthood. Another concern was the time commitment. Some of the
boys assumed that once you entered the school, you had
to graduate from there. Father Darren clarified that if the
boy was accepted to the school, the boy and the
family would commit for only one year. When and if
the student completes the year, an evaluation would be done
to determine whether a second year would be an option
for the boy and family. Some of these questions came
from boys that I thought were not interested at all
about the apostolic school, let alone the priesthood. Indeed the
Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways.
Since we were leaving
early the very next morning in order to make our
trip to Chicago, we had to clean up our dorms,
bathrooms and pack, even though it was pretty late and
everybody was extremely tired. We all formed teams and started
cleaning, sweeping and mopping the areas. We accomplished all the
tasks said good night to Mary and went to sleep.
Sacred Heart Journals Part 4
We started off with 7:00 am mass
and then had breakfast. We had planned a trip to
Chicago today. However, due to the snowstorm that passed through
the night before, our schedule had to be altered. Brothers
Jared and Drew…created a new schedule for the boys…an outdoor
football game. The boys were excited to play football in
a field with 9 inches of snow!
During this time,
the dads were in charge of building a camp fire…success!
This was the first campfire I built, so I was
pretty proud of myself and the other dads. We had
marshmallows and hot chocolate next to the campfire - it
was a great morning!
Throughout the day, the boys were busy
with many activities: multiple dodge ball games (I think the
boys are addicted to that game), board games, ping pong,
and many other games. Also, the students from Sacred Heart
played a concert for our boys.
There were several acts
of charity today. The boys assisted the Apostlic students with
cleaning and set up the tables before lunch and dinner.
Some of the boys even helped with the laundry. Initially,
the boys were not enthusiastic about working. However, when Brother
Jared reminded the boys to offer their sufferings for a
Legionary priest who is battling cancer, their moods quickly changed.
That night, the dads got together with the Legionary priests
and conversed over dinner and discussed ways to promote the
Sacred Heart Apostolic School. We…need to get the word out
to any interested families that are looking for an excellent
environment where their boys can discern the priesthood.