WEEK 2: THE HIGHLIGHTS
May 28th: Today, after having a retreat that was filled with graces from the Holy Spirit, we left Ars, France for Rome. When we arrived in Rome and saw St. Peter’s Basilica we were all taken back by the beauty that the heart of the Church has to offer. It is truly a blessing that we are all able to study here in Rome and learn about our future bride in the heart of the eternal city.
May 29th: We had our first day of class today in Human Virtues for Priestly Fatherhood taught by Fr. Robert Gahl. In this class Fr. Gahl does a beautiful job of explaining the necessity for our priests to be holy fathers in order to serve our broken culture and help bring the faithful to holiness to which we are all called.
In the evening we went to the North American College and celebrated the Solemnity of the Ascension with all of the men who are studding to be priests there. It was a great celebration and we all had the opportunity to see some old friends and share in fraternity.
May 30th: We finished our class on Human Virtues for Priestly Fatherhood and then in the afternoon most of us met with our spiritual directors. It is great to be able to go to spiritual direction on The Rome Experience to help us integrate everything from what we are leaning in classes, our prayer lives and all of the different experiences that we are having here in the eternal city. Spiritual direction helps us to see how God wants us to be formed through these experiences, and allows us to stay close to Him.
May 31st: Today we had the opportunity to have an audience with His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke who is the head of the Apostolic Signatura. He took time out of his schedule to explain to us what happens at the Signatura, how annulments and other marriage cases are handled as well as how the tribunals go about addressing cases. Cardinal Burke stressed how important it is to uphold the justice that everybody is entitled to especially when these very difficult cases are being reviewed.
After our audience with the Cardinal we all had the opportunity to explore Rome a bit more. Most of us were able to visit different churches and basilicas. So far our time in Rome has been eye opening to all of the blessings that God has and is continuing to give us.
June 1st: Today most of us had the opportunity to go and attend one of the Masses in St. Peters Basilica. It was awesome to be in the very heart of the Church while the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was being offered. It was a reminder as to why we are here in Rome. We are here to be formed to be the best priests that God is calling us to be. To be in the same place where so many saints and popes have been before was awe-inspiring.
At noon we all had the opportunity to see the pope at his Angelus address. For most of us it was the first time seeing him in person. It was great to be able to pray with our father in the faith in the heart of the Church with thousands of others. God has truly blessed us men on the Rome Experience for this I am truly grateful.
REFLECTION: God has given us many different blessings and some crosses in our lives. Both of these are opportunities to be grateful because both lead us closer to Him. I think we need to take more time out of our day to thank God for all that He has so generously given to us.
Seminarian for the Diocese of Green Bay
Rome Experience Class of 2014