First Semester Down and Climbing a Mountain

This past Tuesday I finished up my first semester of classes. It was a bit of an adjustment having all my finals be oral and cover the whole semester. But, by the grace of God, I did quite well on all my finals. After finals a fellow seminarian and I traveled down to southern Italy to Pollino National Park (Parco Nazionale del Pollino) to climb Mt. Pollino. The mountain isn’t particularly famous, however, it is over 2,000 meters tall at 2248 m (7373 ft) tall and we would be able to climb it in the winter Continue reading “First Semester Down and Climbing a Mountain”

Institution to the Ministry of Lector

Today, within our community Mass, my class and I were instituted to the ministry of Lector. Photos are available here from the NAC’s official flickr page. In simple worldly terms, that means that I am an official reader for Mass. The installation is more than becoming a reader though. Today’s installation is my first official step towards the altar and so in turn towards priesthood. My call to candidacy this summer placed me at the start of the path, and today I took my first step. My next step, by the Grace of God, will be the institution to the ministry of Acolyte next year. Following Acolyte is Deaconate and then Priesthood, should I be called to Holy Orders. Continue reading “Institution to the Ministry of Lector”

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all! Christ has been born unto us! How blessed are we in this celebration. How blessed have I been this past year in particular. This Christmas I find myself away from home for the first time and, instead, I’m spending it in Kraków, Poland with some of my fellow seminarians from the NAC.

I’m writing from my phone so my adventures will be told at a later time. Until then, may we all welcome the infant Jesus into our homes and hearts with ever more full joy and love, for our savior who has been born unto us.

Lake Garda Hiking Trip

This past weekend, Oct 27th to 29th, myself and two fellow seminarians traveled to Northern Italy, to the Lake Garda region. Besides being beautiful location and in the southern portion of the Alps, at this lake the Austrians and Italians had a front line during WWI. So we planned to head up to Malcesine, on the North East side of the lake on Friday, walk along the mountain ridge on Saturday visiting the WWI fortifications, ending in Nago on the North end of the lake. Then Sunday we would relax in the area before heading back to Rome. You can view all the pictures from the trip in the album here. I took nearly 200 pictures with a selection included below. Continue reading “Lake Garda Hiking Trip”

Reflection on Psalm 46:10-11 “Be Still and Know That I am God”

“10 Who stops wars to the ends of the earth,
breaks the bow, splinters the spear,
and burns the shields with fire;
11 Be still and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
exalted on the earth. Psalm 46: 10-11

Psalm 46 is one of my favorite psalms. In particular the imaginary  in the above verses, 10 and 11, are striking to me. And so, I would like to share a small reflection on these two verses. Continue reading “Reflection on Psalm 46:10-11 “Be Still and Know That I am God””

Reflection from My Retreat in Greccio Last Week

“A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. Ez 36:26-27

“I do not reprove you for your sacrifices;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.
I will accept no bull from your house,
nor he-goat from your folds.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you;
for the world and all that is in it is mine.
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and pay your vows to the Most High;
and call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me. Ps 50:8-9,12,14-15

“If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:3, 7-8, 13

This past week my class was on a silent retreat in Greccio, the place where St. Francis created the nativity scene. The retreat house is set on a beautiful mountain side with many hiking trails all along the mountain. I though, didn’t get to see many of them because, I was sick most of the retreat. This though turned out to be a grace. For spiritual reading on the retreat, I brought the Sayings of the Desert Fathers and the Rule of St. Benedict. Continue reading “Reflection from My Retreat in Greccio Last Week”

What I’ve Been Up to the Past Two Weeks

Wow, these past two weeks have been packed and I have had no time to write. There will be many less pictures directly in this post, so be sure to check out the linked albums. Besides having four hours of further Italian classes each day, I’ve had the chance to visit and experience a lot of cool things. There are four that I want to share: Mass and Visit to St. Peter’s, Angelus with the Pope, Trip to Assisi and finally a Scavi Tour. Continue reading “What I’ve Been Up to the Past Two Weeks”

Final Days in Siena, the Palio, and my Return to Rome

Language school is finished, and I am now back in Rome. Well, that first part is partially false. I’ve finished my Italian studies at Siena and starting next week will continue them here at NAC for another month. In these past few days I had the chance to watch Siena transform for the Palio, serve at mass with the Archbishop of Siena for the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, attend the Palio, and then finally travel back to Rome. Continue reading “Final Days in Siena, the Palio, and my Return to Rome”