Yesterday was the first day in Rome. After arriving at the North American College, I spent some time in the Blessed Sacrament chapel where many hours were spent as a seminarian, prayerfully discerning and listening to the voice of the Lord as He lead me to His altar of Priesthood. There is a beautiful image of the Good Shepherd on the door of the tabernacle in this chapel, and it is aptly named, the “Good Shepherd Chapel.” It was nice to be praying in the chapel again on Good Shepherd Sunday.
I then joined our two seminarians, Dan Poelma and Bob Rodgers, and the entire NAC community for Sunday Brunch. Following lunch we were able to arrive in St. Peter’s Square to join thousands of other pilgrims for the Noon Angelus with our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. St. Peter’s Square was packed. I suspect a good many pilgrims have returned this week to mark the first anniversary of the Beatification of Blessed John Paul II.
Following a little ‘jet lag nap’, I celebrated Mass with some of the other bishops who were just arriving. We then made a nice viist to Santa Maria Sopra Minerva where St. Catherine of Siena is buried, as 29 April marks her feast day. St. Catherine is one of my favorites, and she once again provided a few spiritual gifts to mark the occasion.
Before leaving the College, I breifly met and visited with Archbishop Peter Sartain, who is the delegate for the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith to work with the Leadership Conference of Religious Women. During my visit to the tomb of St. Catherine, I sought her intercession for the LCWR Leadership and Archbishop Sartain. She has always proven to be a great intercessor, and I’m confident the dialouge between Archbishop Sartain and the LCWR leadership will be fruitful. I also prayed for all our many, good sisters and all their good work.
Today, a new day begins. As each day here in Rome for this ad limina visit, I remember all the people, institutions and ministries of the Diocese of Cheyenne in my prayers. Today, I especially include all my classmates. It will be a true grace to celebrate Mass this evening in the Immaculate Conception Chapel here at the Pontifical North American College.
May all of you have a blessed day!