For All Saints' Day, I went to a High Pontifical Mass celebrated by the Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship, Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, which was quite an experience. I had only been to four or so extraordinary form Masses before this, too, so it was a relatively new experience for me still. It was very beautiful- the singing was very well done. They had all their relics pulled out on display for veneration. I didn't end up taking pictures, which I am always a little hesitant to do during liturgies, but if you really want some good shots the blog http://www.orbiscatholicus.org/ is a good place to look. It's difficult to quite gather how beautiful the church was from most of the shots, but some of them are really quite excellent.
This morning I and a number of the men from the house went to celebrate Mass and pay our respects at the College Mausoleum at Campo Verano. It was a simply enormous graveyard- so big it had map stations and, apparently, guided tours and bus lanes through it! The resting place for our deceased college brethren is one of the simpler plots there, but it's still very nice. I'll get the pictures up from this morning when I can. Obviously nowadays a seminarian would be sent home to be buried if he died over here, but in the past that simply wasn't very feasible, or so I gathered- that long ride on a boat was perhaps too much for the body. Many of them were younger than I am now- the ages were also posted on their marble plaques in the mausoleum, with many of them being 22 or younger! It was very humbling on this Feast of All Souls' to think that all these young men, all these intercessors, had already made the greatest leap of faith- that great leap from life through death to life everlasting. It's encouraging, in a way; even though they were not martyrs, there is a certain example of courage in a Christian death, I think. It calls us all on to live our faiths, for we do not know the hour or the day when Christ will come again for us individually.
Other than that, not too much to report. We ended up missing our first hour of classes because of the trip this morning, but we were able to catch breakfast at the cafe in our university, which is really quite excellent. Their prices are really reasonable, too- even translated back into dollars (which is almost heartbreaking some days with the current conversion rate), the prices were no worse than they would be in a coffee shop back in the states. I ended up paying 2.60 euro for breakfast of a blood orange Fanta and an apple pastry. That was really good, too, especially considering the fact that pop is a LOT more expensive over here than it is back in the states. I also made my deposit for a retreat I'm planning on taking after Easter with 44 other guys from the college and the head of spiritual direction here at the North American College. We are going to Ars, the town where the patron of this Year of the Priest, St. John Vianney, spent his days hearing confessions and ministering to his people in superabundant charity. May John Vianney intercede for all of us seminarians and help us to become priests like he was, priests in the likeness of Our Lord.