“Postcards” from the Class of 2014

July 31, 2014

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A SUMMARY

This summer I participated in the Rome Experience. This experience was a great opportunity for me to grow more in my faith and in my knowledge about the history of the Catholic Church. During this trip I saw places that I always wanted to see and even places that I did not know existed. We had Mass at the Church in Ars where the Patron Saint of my seminary served and died as a priest. I saw his in-corrupt body there in the new basilica. This was an amazing experience. I also had the chance to see many places where other saints lived. I saw the stairs that Jesus walked at the praetorium and a piece of the cross that he carried for our salvation.

Seeing all of these places and people so excited about their faith gave me great joy and encouraged me to strive not only to live a better life but also to imitate the saints and to live as they did to bring more people closer to God.  I think that this experience was very positive and that I learned many new things that I can teach others and that if God willing I become a priest I will be preaching about. The Rome Experience, as many people have said before me, is a life changing experience. There is so much to learn and after going through the program I feel like I have taken a great step towards learning more about my faith, the Catholic Church, and how to try to become a saint little by little. Pax!

Mauro Sanchez
Seminarian for the Diocese of Sioux City
Rome Experience Class of 2014

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“Postcards” from the Class of 2014

June 9, 2014

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WEEK 3:  THE HIGHLIGHTS

I refer to the following three highlights as “The Triduum”:

Sunday, June 1, 2014
After going to Mass at a beautiful Franciscan church just to the side of St. Peter’s Basilica, I along with a few others went to the Regina Caeli led by the Holy Father at St. Peter’s Piazza. I have never been to Rome nor seen the Holy Father in person so I was excited to see the Pope – though not as much as I had anticipated. About five minutes before the Pope was scheduled to appear, I distanced myself from the group and began to pray on what is the significance of seeing the Pope in person is. (The fruit of this prayer is posted below.) Then, as he made his appearance from the window of the Papal Apartments, I found myself having to hold back the cheers I wanted to express for the Holy Father. I found myself with arms up welcoming the Holy Father as he looked at us from his window.

It was the solemnity of the Ascension and he spoke that day of God’s continual presence with us – in particular, he mentioned those persecuted Christians who suffer so much quietly. He asked us all gathered in the piazza if we believe that God is with us. He asked us this same question twice and then had us say out loud: “The Lord is with us!” The Pope also said that Christ offers his wounds to the Father and so we must do the same.

Monday, June 2, 2014
On Monday, Fr. Roger Landry from the diocese of Fall River, led us on tour in St. Peter’s Basilica. We had Mass in the crypt of the Basilica. While the whole morning was full of blessings, I particularly would like to share the experience of participating in the Scavi Tour. This tour is of the excavations that have been done under the structure of St. Peter’s. We walk through what was once the necropolis next to Nero’s Circus. The highlight of the whole tour is the sight of the bones of St. Peter. We stood about 10 feet from where they were returned (where they were originally located) after being examined after they were discovered. They are kept in a see-through container.

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“Postcards” from the Class of 2014

May 23, 2014

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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.

Adam Bradley
Seminarian for the Diocese of Green Bay
Rome Experience Class of 2014


Buon Viaggio, 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

Rome Experience Class of 2014 – Orientation at Mundelein Seminary


Rome Experience 2014 Orientation

May 22, 2014

On May 19th, the Rome Experience Class of 2014 welcomed a special guest, Fr Robert Barron, during their orientation on the campus of Mundelein Seminary. Fr Barron gave the seminarians some tips on Rome and a special blessing for the trip. Thank you, Fr Barron!

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Fr Robert Barron with seminarians from the Rome Experience Class of 2014

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Fr Robert Barron visiting with the Rome Experience Class of 2014 during orientation at Mundelein Seminary.

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Fr Robert Barron blesses the Rome Experience Class of 2014 before they departed for Europe!


Welcome the Rome Experience Class of 2014!

April 15, 2014

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The Bishops’ Advisory Board, faculty, priests and staff of the Rome Experience are very pleased to announce and welcome the Class of 2014!

 

Dillon Barker
Diocese of Nashville
Pontifical College Josephinum

Craig Best
Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Mt. St. Mary’s of the West Seminary

Adam Bradley
Diocese of Green Bay
St. Francis de Sales Seminary

Ion Chamorro
Archdiocese of Miami
St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary

Levi Cochenour
Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph
Holy Apostles College and Seminary

Brent Crowe
Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon
Mount Angel Seminary

Jonathan Davis
Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph
Holy Apostles College and Seminary

Daniel Daza-Jaller
Diocese of Palm Beach
St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary

Joseph Fessenden
Diocese of Nashville
Notre Dame Seminary

Mason Fraley
Archdiocese of Denver
St. John Vianney Seminary

Matthew Gomez
Archdiocese of Miami
St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary

James Handerhan
Diocese of Birmingham
Notre Dame Seminary

Philip Klaas
Diocese of Madison
Immaculate Conception College Seminary

Jarred Kohn
Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Mt. St. Mary’s of the West Seminary

Steven Nolan
Diocese of Madison
Saint Paul Seminary

Andrew Pacheco
Diocese of Santa Rosa in California
Saint Patrick’s Seminary

Amado Ramos-Hernandez
Diocese of Austin
Notre Dame Seminary

Mauro Sanchez-Gonzalez
Diocese of Sioux City
St. John Vianney Seminary

Joseph Sanderson
Diocese of Burlington
St. John’s Seminary

Pedro Saucedo, Jr.
Archdiocese of Los Angeles
St. John’s Seminary

Andrew Smith
Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Mt. St. Mary’s of the West Seminary

William Wheeler
Archdiocese of Los Angeles
St. John’s Seminary

Jacob Willig
Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Mt. St. Mary’s of the West Seminary


Reflections from the Rome Experience Class of 2013

July 19, 2013

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Top 5 Highlights of Week 6
Luis Pavon
Seminarian for the Archdiocese of Miami

1 – Saints . . . and more Saints

The first highlight of the week was really somewhat of a weeklong highlight. This last full week in Rome we were given plenty of free time in the afternoons. As such, I eagerly took advantage of these open time-slot opportunities to visit and pray at some particular churches in Rome that house the tombs of the saints. Among the many saints that I was able to “visit” were St. John Leonardi, St. Joseph Calasanz, Ss. Bartholomew, Ss. Philip and James, Bl. Anna Maria Taigi, St. Phillip Neri, Bl. Pius XI, St. Lawrence and St. Stephen.

Perhaps the most significant of these “visits” for me was the visit to the tombs of St. Lawrence and St. Stephen in the church of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls – this since I highly esteem these two saints. Indeed, their zealous love for the Lord has always particularly inspired me and, as such, I was eager to be able to pray to them and ask their intercession.

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