The Ironing Board Dude...

Sandwich maker, toaster, PlayStation 3, Xbox360, 32” TV, kettle, fridge, desktop PC…and of course the ironing board. These are just some of the items I arrived with on my first day in seminary. It’s not exactly ‘travelling light’ and they certainly felt heavier as my brother and I carried them up two flights of stairs!
I laugh now when I look back at how much gear I felt I needed back then. To some degree, going to seminary is a big step into the great unknown. But at the same time, it’s a lot like going to college for the first time. It’s getting accustomed to a new environment, new people, new schedules, a new town and all that comes with that. I can confidently say that after four years of seminary, it very much feels like home - albeit slightly less well equipped!
So who’s the “ironing board dude”? Well, that’s me. As you can imagine, all that gear wouldn’t fit into my room at once so all the boxes were laid outside the room and I gradually "unpacked" them into my new room. The mother of a fellow newbie that day saw all my gear and exclaimed - “He even brought an ironing board!” while she recoiled at how (comparatively) little her son had brought. Hence I became the “Ironing Board Dude” and my room quickly got called “Mission Control”.

One day soon I’ll make a promise of simplicity of life. It doesn’t mean that I can’t have anything of value or must live in poverty, noble as those aspirations may be. Simplicity of life means that I ought not to grow so attached to something that I can’t attach myself primarily to God and then to His people - the God and people whom I am called to serve as a priest. It’s kind of like being detached in a place of attachment. That’s living the simple life.
After four years I still have that ironing board. The sandwich maker didn’t last (who needs it when we have a fantastic dining area). The toaster went home. The PlayStation stayed, the Xbox360 overheated…The kettle is still there for when visitors arrive. The fridge isn’t going anywhere - how else would I keep my cans of Coke Zero chilling? The desktop PC is now a laptop. And the 32” TV - well, that wasn’t allowed apparently and that had to go - albeit creatively - but that’s a blogpost for another day!
Damien Quigley
Armagh Seminarian (Year 5)
Sept. 2014




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