Today we formally began our orientation to the Casa Santa Maria. Our first stop was mass at St. Peter's basilica this morning. It was threatening rain all day but held off till this evening but that is why there are some guys with umbrella's in their hands (in case you were wondering). Here we are walking towards St. Peter's:
This is a pilgrimage of sorts that we are making to the tomb of the apostle Peter. We are priests of Jesus Christ who founded His church on the rock, Peter. He had been given the great charge to strengthen his brethren. We approach his relics to ask for that strength through Peter's intercession, to pay our respects to those who have followed in the shoes of the fisherman, and to listen to the current custodian of the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
We got vested in the huge sacristy of St. Peter's. this little corridor is just a small part of the whole sacristy. Shown in the picture is Msgr. DeWayne who is our House Spiritual Director:
We had mass in the Hungarian Chapel which is located in the Crypt of St. Peter's only about 200 feet from St. Peter's tomb. Talk about a good start - we celebrated the votive mass of Sts. Peter and Paul the two princes of the apostles whose blood consecrated this holy city in the name of Jesus Christ- but now we have to go and do likewise!!! As the rite of ordination tells us, we must imitate what we celebrate!
Just around the corner we were able to pray at the tomb of Pope John Paul II the Great. He is buried within about 50 feet of the apostles tomb. Requiescat In Pace:
After mass we climbed up the Gianiculum Hill, some for the first time, others like me, with lots of memories flashing back. We were greeted and feed a fine breakfast at my old Alma Mater; the seminary division of the North American College. A lot of changes have taken place improving the campus - more updates on that later but for the time here is just a little picture to show the gran palazzo that used to be my home . . .