Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Catch-up blog: Clergy Conference

Though I didn't post many things for awhile on this blog, many things have transpired in the past year which I thought would be interesting to write about. This entry hopefully will be the first in a series of 'catching-up' to the present.

In January, during the winter break, I attended a priest conference hosted by both the Australian and American Confraternity of Catholic Clergy. They hosted it on the occasion of the year of the priest here in Rome. I took the opportunity to go to something right in my back yard (or the front yard depending how you want to describe the Vatican!).

We had a huge turn out of priests from many English speaking countries. The speakers were all top-notch and included personages such as: Fr. Jospeh Carola S.J., Fr. Uwe Michael Lang, Cong. Or., and even His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI's Master of Ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini!

We had a beautiful Solemn High Mass at St. John Lateran celebrated by Cardinal Cañazares and accompanied by a talented schola cantorum who sang Haydn's Missa Cellensis. Here is a picture of me sitting next to the pope's 'cathedra'.

If you look closely enough at this one you can see me getting ready to distribute communion to the faithful.

We also had a nice mass in St. Peter's Basilica with Archbishop Burke presiding. The schola sang Palestrina's Missa Tu es Petrus - How appropriate! After the mass, Archbishop Burke invited us all over the Apostolic Segnatura for a tour. I was intrigued by the office signs designating whose office was who's:

I guess there's no mistaking who belongs in these offices!
While we were in the Cancelleria we passed by the Roman Rota, but we didn't go in. But I did get a photo at the doorway of one of the Rotal Studios:

One of the nights of the conference was set aside for the Banquet. The conference was hosted at the Domus Sanctae Martae in Vatican City where the Cardinals live during a conclave. At that Banquet they set out for us the papal china:

All around, it was a great conference.

Friday, March 19, 2010

It is Finished!

During this season of Lent when we hear the passion of our Lord, from the cross Jesus declares "It is finished!" meaning the work of redemption and salvation of all humanity and in fact all of creation. Today, however, I uttered those same words in a somewhat lesser light and they became the expression of a decidedly smaller victory. What caused them to be uttered? It was the fact that I have finally finished my License Thesis.

A huge Thank-you to all who have prayed for me as I wrote. I just had it printed today. However, the copies weren't done before 12:30 and so the Secretaria at the University closed before I could get them there, so I will have to wait till Monday to consign :-(. But it is finished all the same!

The only things which remain for me are to finish this semester's classes and to prepare for my Comprehensive exams.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Awesome Priest Video!

I just came across an awesome video about the priestly ordinations that took place this past year in New York. It includes the words of Archbishop Dolan which are powerful both in content and in delivery.

The video was made by the same people who made the "Fishers of Men" video.
Check it out:

Pilgrimage to Ars

I recently made a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. John Marie Vianney the patron saint of parish priests. His tomb is located in Ars in South-East France near Lyon. He is affectionately known as the Curé of Ars. It happens that Pope Benedict XVI has asked that this year be dedicated as the "Year for Priests". He named St. John Vianney as the Universal Patron of Priests.

I got to say mass at his tomb

We walked out to the legendary place where the Curé first came into his parish. He was lost in the fog not far from the village to which he had been assigned. He came across a young boy working in the field and asked him, "Which way to Ars?" The boy pointed the way to him. The Saint responded famously by saying, "You have shown me the way to Ars, I shall show you the way to heaven."

On our way back to Rome we stopped just past Mont Blanc (we had gone through the tunnel) and I snapped this awesome picture and had to share it:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Course on the Internal Forum

I just recently finished a course held by the Apostolic Penitentiary on the Internal Forum (i.e. the forum of the conscience and/or the forum of Grace).

It was a week-long course that will actually give me credit at the University. In the course the topics of confession and absolution as well as lifting of latae sententiae censures (i.e. penalties incurred by an act itself which is considered to be so sinful/scandalous that there is a penalty attached) in the internal forum. The tribunal also has competency for the declarations of indulgences and so they had a conference on that too. They packed in alot of material but in exchange we did get an audience with the Holy Father!

As you can see from the picture I wasn't able to get up close. But it is always nice to spend a little time with the Vicar of Christ on earth!

After the conference we had to wait in line to pick up our certificate, but we waited in pretty nice surroundings!

Finally, here's the certificate!

Long time - no post!

It's been a long time since I last made a post on this blog. After Christmas last year I just never got back at it. However, many people have asked me about it. Enough so that I am finally getting around to it again!

I may have to do some 'catch-up' blog entries to fill in the more-than-a-year gap! There is plenty of material for that as my life has been anything but boring - perhaps that can be added to the list of excuses why I haven't posted :-).

(I just noticed there is not one post for the whole of 2009! It just skips from 2008 to 2010.)