August 28, 2019
by Ms. Katie Walton
This summer, seventy children came together for the second annual Corpus Christi Summer Camp hosted by Corpus Christi Chapel, the FSSP apostolate in Naples, Florida. The camp took place during the Octave of Pentecost and concluded with a Sung Mass for Trinity Sunday. It was perfect timing since the theme of the camp was “GOTBeauty,” a handy acronym FSSP Naples chaplain Fr. Jonathan Romanoski used to present the four transcendentals of the One Triune God: goodness, oneness, truth and beauty.
Every morning Fr. Romanoski and assistant chaplain Fr. Joshua Passo gave talks to the campers about various aspects of the four transcendentals. Students learned about the beautiful symbolism of the sacred image, Our Mother of Perpetual Help. They discovered that, as sacramentals, relics are gifts of God which help dispose us to grace. They practiced discerning the three qualities of beauty – proportion, integrity and clarity – in sacred art, and they discussed how the music we listen to can affect body and soul. Fittingly for the Octave of Pentecost, they were instructed about the language and symbolism of the Holy Ghost.
After these mini-classes, students had an opportunity to experience the beauty of sacred music with seminarian, Mr. Jared Leonard, and two parishioners, Nicky Rutherford and Katie Walton. Older campers learned how to sing a simple polyphonic Mass, and younger campers learned important chants and hymns including Credo III, Adoro Te Devote, Ave Maria and Soul of My Savior.
After working hard at singing, campers were able to relax and spend ample time in recreation. Many enjoyed playing soccer with Fr. Passo and Mr. Leonard, despite the Florida heat, while others attempted to capture the flag with counselors Paul Dinan and Danny Battis. In the gym, some campers tried – and often failed – to “knock out” Fr. Romanoski in basketball. Others spent time playing various board games or drawing. Despite the campers’ love for these various activities, the popular favorite was dodgeball, which was played with a serious but charitable spirit of competition.
Later on in the day, Mrs. Abril Borjon taught campers to apply their new knowledge of beauty in creating a metal embossed piece of sacred art. Students and parents alike were impressed with the results, and many campers’ bedroom walls will now be adorned with hand-made, beautiful sacred art.
Before the campers left for Vespers each day, Mr. Leonard gave them parting words addressing the different gifts of the Holy Ghost; thus the campers were brought back to where they had started – the Most Holy Trinity.
Each day ended on a high note as campers were given the opportunity to see the transcendentals first-hand through sung Vespers and sung Mass. The entire camp culminated on Trinity Sunday, when campers sang the various pieces they had learned for the greater glory of God and the edification of the faithful. According to one parishioner, she had “never heard anything so beautiful.” It was a satisfying answer to the question – GOTBeauty?