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Maintenance Musings: Ora et Labora

Maintenance Musings: Ora et Labora

By Josh Bruecken, Director of Facilities and Maintenance

St. Maria Goretti Parish is blessed with almost 10 acres of campus and around 110,000 square feet of facilities to maintain. Now imagine this was your personal property, where you were responsible for every light bulb that flickered, every bush that needed trimming, or every sidewalk that needed shoveling. It is an enormous responsibility! Luckily, we have a great maintenance crew and contractors that keep the place running. Even with these dedicated people, it takes even more for the parish facilities and grounds to flourish. It takes volunteers.

Before you stop reading because this is just another typical call for volunteers, hold on. The usual call for volunteers happens with the facilities and grounds days in the spring and fall, which are fun! These consist of working for a few hours on a Saturday and getting a bunch of projects done. While these are great opportunities to get involved, they are just one-time events to socialize and work with other parishioners.

One of the most rewarding things in life is being a part of a community and developing relationships. When we are born, we have our family community. We are a part of many different communities in our life in the form of social, family, sports, work, hobbies, and even virtual communities. Every person or group that you follow on social media is a form of community.

However, take a moment and do an inventory of the communities that you spend the most time on, and then categorize them. Perhaps most of your time falls into social or virtual communities. What about your prayer communities? Do you have a group of people that will grow and challenge you in your prayer life? If so, great! If not, perhaps this exercise has helped you realize that you spend too much time in certain communities and not enough time in a prayer community. If the latter is true, consider reaching out to me about joining the group, Ora et Labora. If you have never heard of this group until now, it is because I am just starting it!

Ora et Labora is Latin meaning prayer and work. This is a very ancient tradition stemming back from the desert fathers and made popular by the father of monasticism, St. Benedict. The idea behind Ora et Labora is to create a rhythm to your life that promotes prayer. My hope is to create a group that puts prayer and work into practice so that you can use these methods in your everyday life. My plan is to have some facilities or grounds task for us to work on. We focus on a certain type of prayer either before, during, or after our work.

The following are necessary to commit to this group:

  • About an hour a week
  • Interest in prayer and growing in your faith life
  • Interest in helping the parish, specifically with the facilities and grounds

For more information, please contact Josh Bruecken at or 608-268-2972.

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