June 19, 2014
Week 4 Highlights
June 9, 2014:
Back to the Ordinary!
It was quite appropriate that on Monday, June 9, as the universal Church returned to Ordinary Time, we here at The Rome Experience began our regular schedule of prayer and classes. After our retreat in Ars, arriving in Rome and getting settled in, and a long week running around Rome visiting the beautiful holy sites, it was good to ease into a smooth rhythm. Being a person who likes falling into habits (hopefully good ones!), it has been good to be able to establish my own little habits, within the plan of life that the program provides for us. This development of good habits (i.e. virtues) is part of what we have been taught during these past weeks. A good “Plan of Life” will help us live balanced lives.
A Sheep with a Shepherd
Part of the steady rhythm and balance, which I spoke of above, includes spiritual direction. At seminary, each seminarian is assigned a spiritual director. A struggle for me during the summers has always been “going at it alone” for almost three months without spiritual direction. I am grateful that, while only for three short meetings, The Rome Experience provides spiritual directors for us during our time in Rome. Last Monday was my first “official” meeting with my spiritual director. It was a blessing to get to share with him the ways in which the Holy Spirit has been moving in my heart during these past few weeks; my joys, my struggles, my dryness, my encounters with The Lord, etc.
June 14-15, 2014:
Weekend Pilgrimage Adventure
Along with all the awesome things which are provided for us by The Rome Experience (classes in Rome, visits to holy sites, meetings with cardinals and priests serving in Rome, etc.), we are also given some free time to do things on our own. This past week-end, three of the men and I travelled three hours south of Rome to visit a few places.
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May 23, 2014
WEEK 1: THE HIGHLIGHTS
On May 21st we arrived in Ars, France. We had the bus driver drop us of about a 45 minute walk outside of Ars so that we could walk the same path that St. John Vianney did when on his way to become the parish pastor. As the group of men prayed the Rosary it was hard not to think that the Cure was probably doing the same thing as he traveled on his way.
Many of us after arriving to Ars went into the town and visited the Basilica where St. John Vianney’s incorruptible body is in repose. Praying before the saint was a very powerful experience for a lot of men. We all understand, that when our journey at seminary is over we will (God willing) be priests and eventually pastors, to be kneeling before the patron saint of parish priests was a great blessing that God gave us and it helps us to understand the duty we are going to be entrusted with, that of the salvation of souls.
On May 22nd Fr. Eric took all of the men to the Church were Jesus revealed to St. Margaret Mary his Sacred Heart and told her of his mercy. Seeing the place of the apparition that started one of the greatest devotions in the Church inspired a sense of awe that lead everybody to prayer. We had the opportunity to attend Mass in the small church and afterwards Fr. Eric brought out a relic of St. Margaret Mary, her finger, and we all had the chance to venerate it.
Later on in the day we went to the Monastery of Cluny where in the middle ages was started one of the largest religious orders of all time. We had the opportunity to go on a tour of the ruins of the monastery and to see how these monks lived hundreds of years ago. It was really beautiful to be in a place that produced popes, cardinals and many holy monks throughout the time that the monastery was up and running.
On May 23rd we all went to Lyon France and visited the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere. This church was built in thanksgiving to the Blessed Virgin Mary for saving Lyon from a cholera epidemic. Then during the Franco –Prussian War the town was saved again by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin when the troops looking to invade Lyon retreated. This church is filled with mosaics and statues honoring Our Lady and many other saints. The architecture and art in this basilica are truly breathtaking and give appropriate glory to God.
Tomorrow we all go on silent retreat for a few days and we are all very excited to see how God is going to work through Fr. Chris our retreat director. Please keep us in prayer.
REFLECTION: One of the beautiful things about going to the church where Jesus revealed to St. Margaret Mary his Sacred Heart and celebrating Mass is that we are able to see that Jesus even now reveals himself to all of us in the Eucharist. No matter where we go to Mass Jesus is always revealing himself to us making known the mercy of his Sacred Heart.
Seminarian for the Diocese of Green Bay
Rome Experience Class of 2014
May 22, 2014
The Rome Experience Class of 2014 departed for Europe on May 19th! We wish them safe travels and a blessed and fruitful time on the program.
Rome Experience Class of 2014 – Orientation at Mundelein Seminary
October 16, 2013
THE ROME EXPERIENCE 2014
“The Ministry and Life of Priests for a New Evangelization”
May 19 – July 1, 2014
In 2013 the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy published the Directory for the Ministry and the Life of Priests 2013. As stated in the Directory, “the reflection on the future of the priesthood coincides with the future of evangelization.”
The Rome Experience 2014 program will focus on the major themes presented in this document, specifically providing the seminarians with the opportunity–through pilgrimages, specialized courses, prayer, fraternity, and unity with the Holy Father–“to deepen what it means to be a priest” and to reflect on the importance of the “…priest’s duty to be suitably prepared in order not to attenuate his identity and to respond to the needs of the new evangelization” (Directory for the Ministry and the Life of Priests 2013, no. 87).
Founded in 2007, the Rome Experience provides seminarians preparing for the diocesan priesthood the opportunity to contemplate and nurture their divine call to the priesthood and to holiness as they pray and study in the heart of the Catholic Church, beside the Chair of St. Peter, and at the tombs of the saints and martyrs.
Diocesan seminarians interested in applying must be recommended by their bishops and vocation directors and must have completed First Year Theology by the start of the program.
Applications are due by Monday, January 13, 2014.
For more information visit http://www.theromeexperience.org or contact us at 630-739-9750 x 28 or firstname.lastname@example.org.