Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A Many Splendored Day

Many things make today a great day.


Today is the Solemnity of the Epiphany - we celebrate the Magi finding our Lord in the stable at Bethlehem and offering him the gifts appropriate for the great high priest and king. The Holy Father celebrated this Feast publicly in St. Peter's Basilica today. Thanks to the efforts of our priest-professor Fr. Cozzens, with the little card pictured to the left (edited for safety reasons), the deacons and he had the opportunity to distribute Holy Communion at the Mass today with Pope Benedict. What a grace. Since we have no idea what languages all the people who happen to be at the Mass might speak, we distribute to everyone in Latin, the Church's Universal Tongue.

One of the highlights was giving Communion to a Swiss Guard. They don't walk up to you, you have to go to them (if you discover they want to receive) for they are at their stations. You walk up to them and just as you display the Eucharist and are about to say, "Corpus Christi," the guard stands at attention, clicking his heels, straightening his back and dropping his jaw to receive on the tongue - very impressive, and edifying.

EWTN is apparently showing the Mass three times today, the last of which is at 5:30 pm CST. If you want to try and catch a glimpse of us, during the Eucharistic Prayer, we are standing on the side of the altar holding ciboria filled with hosts. If you are seeing the pope facing you, we are on the left in the last two rows of priests/deacons.


Eventually, luggage does arrive in Rome. As Dcn. Tyler was saying, five of us had delayed luggage: one man flew two days before us last four. His luggage ended up being sent from Boston back to Minneapolis. It left there today and, if all goes right, it should arrive in Rome tomorrow morning and be delivered here to the Domus by noon. The luggage for the other four of us arrived in Rome all together, but only three of us had ours delivered to our residence here. Fr. Cozzens' (for only God knows why) was left at Fiumicino airport. It will be delivered tomorrow, hopefully.

This is great for us for many reasons. First of all, it means we have clean clothes! Yet, since I've been washing my clothes in the bidet (it was immaculately clean when I arrived), perhaps the greatest benefit is that I will no longer have to chop my face open with a Bic razor. Of course, if a man knows that using a Bic will do this, he ought to shave the night before for his face will be clear by morning.


Since it is the Epiphany most places in Rome are closed down today. That means it really becomes a day for hanging out, praying, leisurely walking or whatever may cross one's mind. A number of us have had a leisurely day, playing cribbage, running across the street for a caffé, etc...


After Mass today, the Holy Father prayed the Angelus publicly in St. Peter's square. I ended up waiting alone to hear his message and pray. By Divine Providence, I ended up running into a lay woman who is getting her Doctorate in Sacred Theology here in Rome. She is from the Diocese of Winona, hopes to find a job there, and would be crushed if I didn't look her up while here in Rome. I had planned on it, but the Lord just brought it about sooner! We only chatted briefly, but will get together for dinner with the rest of the Winonans here in Rome.

Ah, yes. Lastly, in his Angelus message today, the Holy Father really called the world to task to bring an end to the violence in the Holy Land. Brilliantly, he said it takes courage to sit down and discuss the problems and differences which cause the disturbance - implying that it is cowardice to resort to bombing and war. Let us pray for peace.