Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Trips and Treasures

Today was an incredibly exciting day in Rome. Tens of Thousands of people jammed St. Peter's Basilica for the Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul and for the celebration of the Pallium Mass. This Mass is the Mass in which the Holy Father gives all the newly installed Archbishop's in the world the symbol of their authority, the Pallium. This year that list included 40 Archbishops, including three Americans, the Archbishops of Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, & Seattle. Archbishop Lacroix, for whom I am privileged to be attending as a guest of, has been incredibly generous throughout my entire time in Rome.

As remarkable as seeing the Pope is, praying together with people from around the world, the most amazing and meaningful part of the trip has been seeing the great love of the Lacroix family shares for one another. The Archbishop flew in with sixty members of his family (most of whom live in Manchester) on Saturday. Since then he has been showing them the city, sharing the sites and sharing in each others company. His family is huge, but their number is matched only by the depths of their kindness and love for one another and for all they encounter. As this week's events have progressed I have become more and more aware that the most remarkable part of my Roman adventures is the love I have witnessed from an Archbishop and his family.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rome Day 2

On Monday night after arriving and spending the day in Rome we attended a reception at the U.S. Embassy. Ambassador Diaz and his wife welcome about one hundred Americans to the compound for a light reception in honor of the Archbishop and three other American Archbishops who were appointed. On Tuesday we celebrated Mass near the tomb of St. Peter followed by a day of sightseeing. So far the days have been long and hot, but well worth it.

Tomorrow I will be in attendance for the Pallium Mass for the Archbishop. Unfortunately I will not be serving the Mass. However, do watch EWTN for all the celebrations and to see if you can spot me in the crowd.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Off to Rome

I had hoped to post a longer note but they are calling my flight to board. I am off to Rome for Archbishop Lacrouix's (Archbishop of Quebec) reception of the Pallium from the Holy Father. I will be there for a week and will be posting regularly. Mass on Wednesday will be televised on EWTN and I will be hopefully Altar Serving for the Holy Father.

more to follow........


Sunday, June 12, 2011


Over the past few weeks it has been incredibly busy with ordinations, graduations and the like, not to mention beginning my summer assignment and starting summer classes.

As a seminarian studying and discerning the priesthood, ordination weekends are very powerful experiences which cause much reflection and soul searching. Over the last few weekends I was honored to be able to watch Alan Tremblay and Charlie Pawlowski be ordained as Deacons, and Kyle Stanton a priest. At the seminary we spend a lot of time discussing and learning various theological points, training our minds, hearts and selves for a life of service. However, the formation process, preparation for the priesthood, takes on a completely different perspective when it is your good friends, who you have known for years, who you have laughed with, vacationed with and studied beside, who lay down before the Altar and surrender their lives to God, and His people. It is a time of great joy, prayer, reflection and amazement when one suddenly realizes they are next, God willing.

This summer marks the three year point for my entry into the Seminary. It is hard to believe that it has been that long. This fall I am scheduled to begin Third Theology. Third Theology marks the year which leads up to the moment of one's Ordination as a Deacon, generally speaking.

This year the Church in New Hampshire was blessed to welcome Alan Tremblay and Charlie Pawlowski as Deacons. Both Charlie and Alan study with me in Baltimore and are great guys. They both have servants hearts and will be a great blessing to the Church. It was a great honor to serve at their ordination Mass.

Before the ordinations at the Cathedral there is an exciting feeling in the sacristy. The seminarians from the diocese prepare for the Mass, setting up everything that is needed. Friends and brother seminarians from other dioceses who are visiting for the big day are in town and the sense of brotherhood is in the air. Alan and Charlie who are about to be ordained deacons nervously wait in the sacristy, as their fellow seminarians, myself included, give them a hard time in an effort to help relieve nerves and remove some of the nervous tension in the air.

On cue the music begins and the long procession of servers, deacons and priests make their way into the Church. As you can see there I am smiling away. If you look carefully in this picture you can also see Ed Mele from the Knights of Columbus. Ed is an amazing man with a generous heart, he is also the head of vocation support for NH Seminarians via the Knights of Columbus. Ed organizes various Council's across the state and together they send each of NH's seminarians financial support to buy books, pay for Gas, etc... and most importantly they keep us in their prayers. Ed is an amazing guy and a good friend with and incredible sense of humor.

One of the most moving portions of the Ordination Mass for Deacons is when the guys lay down in front of the Altar. This move demonstrates the full surrender they are making and the life of humble service which they are being called. This action is repeated each year during Holy Week. During ordinations it is at this point that the Litany of Saints is sung by the choir and the congregation. It is also at this point that my eyes usually fill up because of the beauty, power, and history contained in this hymn.

One of my awkward jobs at the ordination Masses this year was to hold the book from which the Bishop offered prayers. The awkward part was that at every important moment in the Mass and the ordination rite, I would have to stand between or next to Alan and Charlie. As an Altar Server I would always try to be subtle, however as the picture shows there is no real way to be so at such a moment. It is a powerful moment in the rite, all eyes are focused in my direction, all the while I have to blend in, while being front and center.

Note: when having to kneel for long periods of time, holding aforementioned text, do not hike for the six hours the day before with legs which are in pain!

Alan and Charlie's parents bringing up the gifts

Alan incensing the Altar as a Deacon for the first time!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Grades In

Spring 2011:

Medical Ethics: A
Pastoral Counseling: A-
Newman: A-
Ecclesiology: A-
Pauline Epistles: A-
Preaching: Pass (Pass/Fail course)

Important Blog News:

Please note this blog will begin being regularly updated after August 21st (when I arrive in Baltimore).