Pallium Mass impresses

July 8, 2010

Photo and story submitted by Jason Keas on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles, June 29, 2010    

“This is a picture of us this morning at the Pallium mass.   This morning, we woke up and, while sacrificing breakfast, stood in line for the Pallium mass.  We got in line around 7 AM.  The gates opened at 8 AM for a 9:30 mass.   We got good seats, though we were all spread around.   I was about seven rows back in the open seating section.   Other seminarians got to sit much closer, and some have some good stories about getting in closer. It was great to experience a mass inside St. Peter’s, and to see 38 bishops receive the pallium.”    

Ready to line up early for the Pallium Mass, June 29, 2010


Pictured above, left to right:  seminarians Kevin Drew, Erik Bakk, John Hammond, Brendan Johnson, Jason Keas, and Rome Experience faculty member Fr. Eric Nielsen.   

To give an idea of just how packed it was and why it was necessary to line up two-and-a-half hours in advance, here is video from the mass:


Up to the mountaintop and down to the gift shop

June 19, 2010

From Brendan Johnson’s Rome Experience Journal, June 5, 2010:

This was a day of outings for the seminarians.  One group went up a mountain behind the city of Norcia – about a five-hour climb — and another group went with Fr. Baker around the city and then up to the site of an old Capuchin monastery (which will eventually be the site of the monks’ monastery) for lunch.  I went with Fr. Baker because I didn’t have any of the right clothes with me for that type of hiking – I guess next time I’ll have to plan ahead a little better.  At any rate, it was a nice little trip around the city.

Fr. Eric at the top of the mountain

We were able to see the outside of the church (San Lorenzo) where Sts. Benedict and Scholastica were born and got a wonderful explanation of the crypt church at the Basilica of St. Benedict from Fr. Benedict, OSB, a friend of Fr. Baker’s. He explained that the crypt church was originally a Roman basilica used for offices and the like.  St. Benedict’s father was a Roman official, and was given the building for his own private use when he moved in to Norcia for his work. Tradition holds that the altar on the left of the tabernacle was where Sts. Benedict and Scholastica were born.

 After a trip to the monks’ gift shop, we made our way up to the old Capuchin monastery, where we explored the ruins and had lunch on an overlook that has a beautiful view of the old city of Norcia and the more modern part. In all I found it a nice day – time to relax, but also some time to make our way around the countryside a little bit and enjoy the company.

Fr. Eric’s 2009 Rome Experience journal — Day 25

May 19, 2010

Thursday, Day 25:  Rome

Moved back to room 301 now that the air-conditioning is fixed.  Had a nice tour of Baroque churches this morning, though it lacked some interest in light of the main Roman churches.  Class finished as usual.  Fr. Pablo* brought a sacramentary, which was very well received. 

*Fr. Pablo Gadenz, S.S.L., S.T.D.

Fr. Eric’s 2009 Rome Experience journal — Day 24

May 18, 2010

Wednesday, Day 24:  Rome 

Same thing as Tuesday.  Fr. Ramil has been busy setting up the tours with John and Ashley Noronha.  John is getting his PhD in church history, and will be at Santa Croce for at least two years — a great resource.  Ashley is an American girl, and John is from India; they met in Philadelphia. 

Fr. Ramil Fajardo leads Rome Experience men on a tour


Fr. Eric’s 2009 Rome Experience journal — Day 22

May 16, 2010

Monday, Day 22:  Rome 

The morning was free, since Fr. Ramil was unable to be in until close to noon.  We had a brief review of the exam, and anyone who scored below 70 will need to do extra work to get credit for that part of the course.  This afternoon, Msgr. Moroney came in and gave two energetic lectures.  In the evening, five of the guys did their prayer early, skipped dinner and went to the North American college to play some basketball with the students who remained there after exams. 

Courtyard at the Pontifical North American College, Rome

Fr. Eric’s 2009 Rome Experience journal — Day 21

May 15, 2010

Sunday, Day 21:  Rome 

The morning went well.  After some wait, we left on the 912 for Villa Tevere.  After a little confusion, we had a short tour of the center.  and had Mass at 10:30.  We then took the 912 after another wait and arrived back home.  We left for Sedes Sapientiae*at 4 PM and had a wonderful tour of the seminary, with which all of us were very impressed.  After the tour, we had a little social with the students and some of the professors.  On the way home, we stopped to see the tomb of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, which put us, after our Holy Hour, fifteen minutes late for dinner. 

Tomb of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, San Crisogono church, Rome–An-international-seminary-in-Rome&name=News&file=article&newlang=english&sid=698

Fr. Eric’s 2009 Rome Experience journal — Day 20

May 13, 2010

Saturday, Day 20:  Rome  

The men have a day off from any obligations, though we stressed that they still must go to Mass and do their prayer.  Most went to the Vatican for Mass; some left with Fr. Baker to visit the Nashville Dominicans here in Rome.  I said the Mass this morning at the scheduled time with one lone student as server!  At 10:30, we all left for an audience with Cardinal Arinze.*  The audience was fantastic;  he was amazing in his theologically precise yet simple explanations of the faith.  I hope he will be as gracious again the next time.  

Francis Cardinal Arinze meeting with Rome Experience seminarians



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