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Student Perspective: Experiencing and Sharing Hospitality

“All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me. Proper honor must be shown to all, especially to those who share our faith and to pilgrims.”

Rule of Benedict, Chapter 53

Student Perspective: Experiencing and Sharing Hospitality
Jaden Weniger ‘26

In the Rule of Benedict, St. Benedict teaches us to welcome all as Christ does. Sharing Benedictine hospitality goes further than just welcoming a stranger. It also means making the people around you feel comfortable and part of your community, no matter how many times you’ve met them before.
Below is a student perspective on hospitality shared by Jaden Weniger ’26 during a recent prayer service at Saint John’s Prep.

Allow me to share a little experience of mine that took place last year during the chaotic holiday season. It was a normally stressful weekend right before finals at Saint John’s Prep, and almost every dorm student was focused on studying for their exams. Unexpectedly, the Saint Michael Hall resident directors organized a little event holiday event for us. They put effort into making us comfortable. The fireplace on the Saint Benedict side of the dorm was lit, and all of the dormers were asked to sit around the fire. We played a dice game within the circle to choose wrapped presents that had been set carefully on the base of the hearth.
While it may have been a small event created by the dorm staff, I felt like I was truly a part of the community. They really worked to make us comfortable and relieve our test anxieties. It was the little moments during that game with my friends around the fire that distracted me from the stressful studying. The memories of that simple game still stay with me.

In conclusion, as we navigate the upcoming holiday season, let’s not only focus on the external trappings but also on the intrinsic value of hospitality. Let’s make this season a celebration of genuine connections and goodwill- like the game around the hearth in Saint Michael Hall.

Thank you for your time, and may your holidays be filled with meaningful moments.

Jaden Weniger In Rur
Jaden Weniger ’26, seen here in costume for the 2023 fall play, “R.U.R.”

Jaden is a member of the Esports team and a very active part of the Prep Theatre department. He and his brother, Jacob, are sophomores at Saint John’s Prep and live in the Saint Michael Hall residence. They are the sons of Jean Weniger of Owasso, Oklahoma.

Jaden, seen here in green, is an active member of the Prep Esports team.