This is the view from my room- our front yard. I thought the tree was actually rather artistic. Sadly, St. Peter's basilica is just a tiny bit to the right of what can been seen from my window, so I have to actually walk down the hall a little to see it. *sigh* What a tough life we lead here.
THERE'S Saint Peter's. This is from the window at the end of my hall.
One of the coolest parts of the day come shortly thereafter, when we went on a very brief pilgrimage (as most of them are once you are already in Rome) to Sant'Agostino, the Church of Saint Augustine where St. Monica is entombed. This has special importance for me, obviously, since she is the patroness of my home parish, but it was also a great trip because we went to pray for our mothers at the tomb of the woman who so embodied maternal care and concern, without which none of us seminarians would be the same men we are today.
I finally got to bed around 10:30, I think, which wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't been for the fact that I was running on roughly an hour of sleep over the previous 34 hours or so and the fact that we had to leave the college in our dress clerics the next morning at 6:45. That being said, I handled it better than I thought I was going to, I'm certain in no small part due to the graces from all the prayers people are offering up for me. We left this morning at 6:45 for St. Peter's basilica to celebrate Mass at the tomb of Saint Peter, which was rather moving. It was really great being at Mass surrounded by all these men dressed in their clerics discerning the priesthood along with me.
Here we are getting ready to depart, all dressed up in our clerics.
This is my class of 2013, all standing in Piazza San Pietro.
Here I am with Dan Ulishney, a classmate of mine from Franciscan.
I'm standing in front of the main altar in Saint Peter's. You can see the baldachino in the background. It is really breathtaking.
Shortly thereafter we took our Italian language placement exams. Those really weren't as stressful as they sound like they should be. I can't imagine I did nearly as well as most of the guys, since all but 8 of the 57 of us came over a month early to study Italian, but I don't think I did abysmally, either. Only time will tell, I suppose.
After that, I went shopping with Francis Marotti and got to spend some time with him. I've been most appreciative for his help already during these first 36 or so hours. It's been really great having all these men here that I know, though I'm trying really hard to spend time with all the others in the hopes that I get to know them just as well. I think that's it for now. Please pray for me! I've been keeping the people back home in my prayers. May God bless you.
P.S. Yes, I unabashedly plagiarized the title of this post from Scott Hahn, but I thought it most appropriate, so there!