Some of the first words most seminarians learn in Latin are “Roma in Italia est,” the first sentence of Hans Ørberg’s “Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata.” For those several of us members of the class of Theology IV who have never been to Rome before, we can now confirm the truth of the sentence: Rome is in Italy (though we didn’t exactly doubt it before).
We’ve settled into Rome over the past few days and we’ve begun the primary purpose of what we’ve came here to do. No, not walking through liturgical goods stores looking for the rumored and elusive affordable travel Mass kit (though we have been doing that); the purpose of the trip to Rome is to see the global missionary aspect of the Church. Yesterday morning we visited the Missionary Sisters of St. Peter Claver, who work to coordinate and support missionary activity around the world in dozens of countries. We heard from several sisters about their role in supporting the missions as well as one who just returned from Argentina. In the afternoon, we gathered to discuss the scriptural roots of missionary work and how recent magisterial teaching instructs us to carry it out.
Over the next several weeks we’ll be visiting various other orders and congregations to learn about their contribution to making Our Lord known and loved throughout the entire world, and we’ll be sharing each step of the way here with you.
Of course, we wouldn’t really be spending our time in Rome well if we didn’t also visit the many sites of pilgrimage present in this ancient city, which from Christianity’s very beginning has had a community of believers. We toured the Roman Forum and the Colosseum with Dr. Elizabeth Lev, and many of us have had opportunities already to visit St. Peters and other various important churches in Rome. On Monday we’ll be assisting as deacons at the Papal Epiphany Mass (though we’re not sure quite how much we’ll be doing yet) but that’s sure to be a wonderful experience as well! Pray for us and we’ll pray for you.
Mass at the Altar of the Crib in St. Mary Major
Touring the Colosseum