Happy New Year

These last months have flown by, punctuated with exciting adventures, and now the new year beckons us to reflect on our past, present, and future.

I hope that everyone had an Advent and Christmas season full of peace and joy and we celebrated the coming of our savior Jesus.

Over Christmas, I was blessed to go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land for two weeks with 40 of my fellow seminarians.  We spent the first week exploring the region surrounding the Sea of Galilee, and the second in Jerusalem and its surroundings.  Truly it was a grace-filled time being able to visit and pray at so many of the sites mentioned in the Bible!

I'll share some of my favorite spots with you in my next post.

We have just finished our semester of classes here in Rome and over the next weeks, I'll be studying for final exams.  Although stressful, I have found that this period affords us a great opportunity to unite our struggles with the Lord, always remembering that we are doing this to be of better service to the people of God.

Here's our group of Florida seminarians from the dioceses of St. Petersburg, St. Augustine, and Venice who are here at the NAC, along with the rector of the cathedral in St. Augustine, FL, who was on sabbatical here in Rome. 

Last week we experienced a series of earthquakes.  Thankfully, there has been no damage here, but it is unnerving to feel the building swaying and seeing the pictures on my wall swinging back and forth! Please pray for the poor folks up in the small Italian mountain villages who are struggling to survive.

Weather wise, 2-3 weeks ago, Rome was in a bit of deep freeze and many of the city's fountains were frozen over!  I have yet to see snow here in the Eternal City, but I can see the sun rising over the snow-capped peaks of the Apennines from our windows here at the seminary:

Until next time!


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