Return to the Holy Land

It’s been awhile since my last post, but the semester has been very busy. Luckily, Christmas is a little over a week away and with Christmas, a break from classes. This Christmas break I will be returning to the Holy Land with two other seminarians for around a week. We will spend a few days near Capernaum in Galilee and the rest of the time around Jerusalem. If anyone has any prayer requests, please use the form at the bottom of this post to send me your prayer requests. We don’t have a completely idea of exact locations we are going yet, but it is something of a “best hits” edition. So we hope to make it to the most notable places. In addition to sending in prayer requests, I ask for you prayers for a safe and fruitful pilgrimage.

Continue reading “Return to the Holy Land”

I’m Back!

I live! It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. This past semester has been busy and I haven’t done many interesting things besides study. But, as of yesterday morning, I have finished my last final for this spring semester. I have officially finished my first year of Theology and year in Rome. (Though not calendar year, that will come in about a month). What an amazing and blessed year it has been. The Lord has truly blessed me with the various opportunities and experiences that I have had. I hope to write another post further reflecting on what this past year has been. Now that the semester is over I am finally on summer “break”. I will be spending my time doing a variety of activities and apostolic work on this side of the pond. Continue reading “I’m Back!”

Exodus – Moses, Israel, and an Inflamed Mt. Sinai

Throughout lent, the scripture reading in the Office of Reading have been from Exodus. This past Tuesday the reading was Ex 32:1-20, which is the Golden Calf incident. While I was mediating on this scripture passage, something struck me that I hadn’t noticed in the past. Normally when we recount this story we focus on Israel’s infidelity, or the drama of Moses casting down the tablets, or how Aaron allowed the people to act in a way and was himself complicity in the Israel’s act of infidelity. Instead it was verse 17 that caught my attention, “Now, when Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “That sounds like a battle in the camp.”” What was Joshua doing there and not at the camp with everyone else? Well he was Moses’ attendant and was permitted to approach closer to the mountain than the rest. But he also wasn’t aware of what the Israelites were doing, because they had withdrawn to the camp. Continue reading “Exodus – Moses, Israel, and an Inflamed Mt. Sinai”

Roman Snow Day

Have you ever had one of those moments where you experienced something so wonderful and unexpected that you couldn’t have imagined it, let alone thought to ask for it? This morning was one of those moments. There were rumors that it was going to snow last night. I didn’t believe that it would snow, nor that it would stick with the ground moisture and temperature. When I woke up this morning, as I was preparing to head to the our chapel, I happened to glance outside and noticed that a few inches of snow covered the ground. This was the first wonderful thing that happened this morning. Today is the first time that it snowed in Rome in six years, and the second time in nearly thirty years.

Rome Snow: Early Morning
From early in the morning on my way to the chapel.

Continue reading “Roman Snow Day”

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”