“Postcards” from the Class of 2014

May 23, 2014



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


Reflections from the Rome Experience Class of 2013

June 5, 2013

Manresa Cave St Ignatius Getty ImageON THE PILGRIMAGE TO MANRESA:

Brad Sjoquist
Seminarian for the Diocese of Marquette

A cave is generally thought to be a home for animals. It might shelter people during times when no other shelter is available. It is not a location one normally thinks of as a place to write a famous masterpiece of Christian spirituality. Ignatius Loyola spent somewhere between eight and eleven months in a cave at Manresa composing a retreat known as The Spiritual Exercises. Since the sixteenth century, countless people have done this thirty day long (usually silent) retreat. I was blessed last summer to do the Exercises with the men in my seminary class.

IgnatiusLoyola-PortraitWho was Ignatius? He was a soldier living a fairly worldly lifestyle who was injured in battle. When there were no more books on chivalry for him to read during his recovery, they gave him a life of Christ and a book on the lives of the saints. He began to think, “What if I were to do what St. Francis or St. Dominic did?” He began to realize that different thoughts produced different kinds of interior movements. “When he was thinking about the things of the world, he took much delight in them, but afterwards…he found that he was dry and discontented…but when he thought of going to Jerusalem…not only was he consoled…but even after putting [the thoughts] aside, he remained content and happy.” These internal states would come and go, until one day he began to see how some thoughts brought him feelings of consolation and others had a different effect.

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Welcome Rome Experience Class of 2012!

April 20, 2012

The Board and Directors of The Rome Experience are happy to announce the members of The Rome Experience Class of 2012.

This year, 18 seminarians will be joining us from 11 seminaries representing 15 dioceses from around the United States:

Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
Joseph Rice (Diocese of Worcester)

Conception Seminary College
M. Michael Seeger (Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph)

Kenrick-Glennon Seminary
Yoelvis Gonzalez (Diocese of Memphis)

Mount St. Mary’s Seminary
Christopher Helle (Diocese of Lafayette in Indiana)
Daniel Shine (Diocese of Lafayette in Indiana)

Mundelein Seminary
Kevin Anstey (Diocese of Davenport)

Notre Dame Seminary
Benjamin Butler (Diocese of Nashville)

Pontifical College Josephinum
Joshua Barlett (Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph)
Gabriel Lickteig (Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph)

Sacred Heart Major Seminary
Jared Holzhuter (Diocese of Madison)
Luke Patrick Syse (Diocese of Madison)

St. John Vianney Theological Seminary
Aaron Pohlen (Diocese of Sioux City)
Erik Reyes Vigil (Archdiocese of Denver)

St. Patrick Seminary and University
Manolito S. Jaldon, Jr. (Archdiocese of San Francisco)

St. Vincent DePaul Regional Seminary
J. Scott Adams (Diocese of Palm Beach)
Julio De Jesus (Archdiocese of Miami)
Philip Timlin (Diocese of St. Augustine)

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