“With your help men and women will come to know God our Father and his Son Jesus Christ.” —Rite of the Ministry of Lector
InsIde thIs Issue:• Canonization
• Immaculate Conception
• Apostolate Focus
• holy Land Pilgrimage
• Advent day of Recollection
The Pontifical North American College 2013 • ISSUE 2
Editor in ChiEfJustin Blanc ‘14
Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston
Layout & dEsign ManagErChris Kerzich ‘14
Archdiocese of Chicago
Managing EditorGeoffrey A. Brooke Jr. ‘15Diocese of Jefferson City
assistant EditorsDonato Infante III ‘15Diocese of Worcester
&Zac Povis ‘15
Archdiocese of St. Louis&
Ruben Villarreal ‘15Diocese of Lake Charles
Layout & dEsign EditorsKyle Digmann ‘14
Archdiocese of Dubuque&
Nicholas Fleming ‘15Diocese of Providence
PhotograPhErsChristopher Brashears ‘14
Archdiocese of Oklahoma City&
Michael Conway ‘14Diocese of Pittsburgh
&Michael Rubeling ‘15
Archdiocese of Baltimore
First year men prepare to be instituted as Lectors during Mass on January 13th, 2013.
2013 • Issue 2 3
5 RectoR’s coRneR Rev. Msgr. James Checchio ‘92, C ‘97
6 canonization Adam Hofer ‘14
8 thanksgiving Zac Povis ‘15
10 consistoRy Rev. Mr. John Mitchell ‘13
11 second cycLe Focus Rev. Mario Majano ‘12
12 iMMacuLate conception William Slattery ‘15
14 advent day oF RecoLLection Nicholas Colalella ‘15
15 caRL J. peteR David Angelino ‘15
16 LiFe at the coLLege
18 extRacuRRicuLaR puRsuits
20 apostoLate Focus Jhonatan Barbosa Porras ‘15
22 LectoR instaLLation Adam Potter ‘16
24 hoLy Land piLgRiMage Rev. Mr. Michael Pawlowicz ‘13
26 icte aRticLe Rev. Msgr. Anthony Figueiredo C’00
28 uMiLtà awaRds
29 institutionaL advanceMent Mark Randall, CFRE
31 econoMo’s coRneR Rev. Msgr. Michael Farmer ‘95
BOARD OF GOvERnORSof the Pontifical North American College
ChairManMost Rev. John J. Myers ‘67
Archbishop of Newark
ViCE ChairManMost Rev. John C. Nienstedt ‘73, C‘84Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis
trEasurErMost Rev. Frank J. Dewane ‘88, C‘89
Bishop of Venice
sECrEtaryMost Rev. Patrick J. Zurek ‘75
Bishop of Amarillo
Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl ‘67 Archbishop of Washington
Most Rev. Frank Caggiano C‘96 Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn
Most Rev. Salvatore Cordileone ‘82, C‘89 Archbishop of San Francisco
Most Rev. Gerald N. Dino Byzantine Catholic Bishop of Phoenix
Most Rev. Walter J. Edyvean ‘65, C‘71 Auxiliary Bishop of Boston
Most Rev. Jeffrey Monforton ‘93, C’02 Bishop of Steubenville
Most Rev. Richard E. Pates ‘69 Bishop of Des Moines
Most Rev. Glen J. Provost ‘75 Bishop of Lake Charles
Most Rev. Michael J. Sheehan ‘65, C‘71 Archbishop of Santa Fe
Most Rev. Joseph Siegel ‘88 Auxiliary Bishop of Joliet
Most Rev. John Vlazny ‘62 Archbishop of Portland
rECtorRev. Msgr. James F. Checchio ‘92, C‘97
ViCE rECtor for adMinistrationRev. Msgr. Michael Farmer ‘95
ViCE rECtor of sEMinary LifERev. Timothy McKeown ‘97
suPErior, Casa santa MariaRev. Msgr. Francis Kelly ‘64, C‘02
dirECtor, institutE for Continuing thEoLogiCaL EduCation
Rev. Msgr. Anthony J. Figueiredo C’00
ExECutiVE dirECtor, institutionaL adVanCEMEnt
Mark Randall, CFRE
The College’s crest, including the motto that translates to “Steadfast Is My Heart”, greets those passing in and out
of the main entrance.
2013 • Issue 2 5
Rev. Msgr. James Checchio ‘92, C‘97
Diocese of Camden Rector
We’ve had some exciting news. Our superior at the Casa Santa Maria, Monsignor Francis Kelly, has been named a Canon of St. Peter’s Basilica. Monsignor has served the Church in priestly ministry with great dedication for fifty years. In
addition to his work at the Casa, he has served in his home Diocese of Worcester, worked to help write the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, and served as Rector of Blessed John XXIII Seminary in Boston.
The Chapter of Canons at St. Peter’s Basilica was founded by Pope Leo IX in 1053 and conducts the Solemn Mass and Vespers at the Basilica on Sundays and Feast Days and cares for other liturgical matters. The canons provide a stable, ongoing prayerful presence at St. Peter’s, which welcomes millions of pilgrims every year who come to renew their faith in Jesus Christ whom St. Peter, the leader of the twelve Apostles, professed saying “You are the Messiah, You are the Son of the Living God.” The Basilica, built directly over the tomb of St. Peter, is “the heart” of our Catholic faith community. On the arches over the altar are the words of St. Hippolytus (235 AD): “From this place the unity of the Christian faith arises; From this place the unity of the priesthood is established.”
Monsignor’s appointment is a good reminder for us of the primary place our spiritual development should have in our life. In his general audiences, Pope Benedict has reminded us that “human life without prayer, which opens our existence to the mystery of God, lacks sense and direction. Only in God, who reveals Himself does man’s seeking find complete fulfillment. The prayer that is openness and elevation of heart to God thus becomes a personal relationship with Him. And even if man forgets his Creator, the living, true God does not cease to call man first to the mysterious encounter of prayer. Each one of us needs time and space for recollection, meditation and calmness.” He continued, “making time for God regularly is a fundamental element for spiritual growth; it will be the Lord Himself who gives us the taste for His mysteries, His words, His presence and action, for feeling how beautiful it is when God speaks with us; He will enable us to understand more deeply what He expects of me.”
Please remember our seminarians and priests of the College in your prayers as they work during these rich years of formation to shape their hearts to be like the Good Shepherd’s, primarily through their prayer, but also by their apostolic assignments, studies, and communal living. Also remember Monsignor Kelly as he transitions to a new apostolate.
You will also read in this edition about the consistory in which Cardinal Harvey ’75 was made a member of the College of Cardinals, our Thanksgiving Day and patronal feast celebrations, lector installation, Holy Land pilgrimage, the annual Carl Peter lecture, recent canonization of two new American saints, and other windows into our daily life at NAC. Thank you for your prayers and kind financial support which allow us to continue to form young men for the priesthood so near to the tomb of St. Peter and his successor, Pope Benedict XVI.
6 The Pontifical North American College
PoPe Benedict canonizes two new american saints Adam Hofer ‘14, Diocese of Rapid City
Adam Hofer ‘14 (Rapid City) and Mark Horn ‘15 (Rapid City) attend the Mass of Canonization.
2013 • Issue 2 7
On October 21st, I was blessed to be among the eighty thousand pilgrims
who gathered in celebration as Pope Benedict XVI canonized the Church’s seven newest saints in St. Peter’s Square. Among them were two saints that North America can claim: Marianne Cope and Kateri Tekakwitha. Kateri Tekakwitha was a Native American who lived in the latter half of the 17th century and worked in Saint Francis Xavier Mission near Montreal. As a Catholic and a member of the Mohawk tribe, she exemplified a life dedicated to faith in Jesus Christ, His Holy Catholic Church, and the traditions of her people. In his homily at the
Banners with images of the new saints hang on the façade of the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican during the Mass of Canonization.
Canonization Mass, Pope Benedict described Kateri as an inspiration to indigenous faithful across North America: “In her, faith and culture enrich each other! May her example help us to live where we are, loving Jesus without denying who we are.”
Native Americans make up over a quarter of the Catholic faithful in the Diocese of Rapid City, South Dakota, and Saint Kateri will undoubtedly have a particular impact on my future priestly ministry. The lives of the saints embody challenges with which we can relate and courageous responses of faith to which we aspire. Saint Kateri Tekakwitha is a beautiful witness to the native peoples of North America that Christianity endows their
rich traditions and authentic values with the Way, the Truth, and the Life of Jesus Christ. At the Canonization Mass it was powerful to see the presence of many Native Americans from the United States and Canada, some from my own diocese and many in their traditional attire. The lasting inspiration of Kateri Tekakwitha’s witness to the Gospel was evident as all the pilgrims joined in showing their respect and enthusiasm as our Holy Father declared her a Saint of the Church. Let us too join in praise to God for this saintly model and echo Pope Benedict’s prayer: “Saint Kateri, Protectress of Canada and the first native American saint, we entrust to you the renewal of the faith in the first nations and in all of North America!”
8 The Pontifical North American College
seminarians continue thanksgiving traditionsZac Povis ‘15, Archdiocese of St. Louis
“It’s not home, but it’s much.” This familiar phrase said of the North American College was especially true of this year’s celebration of Thanksgiving.
While in past years two highlight events of the holiday, namely, the New Man-Old Man Show and the Spaghetti Bowl, took place during the weekend immediately following Thanksgiving Day, the celebration of this year’s ordinary consistory to name new cardinals necessitated some rearranging of the schedule. The day thus began bright and early with the annual Turkey Trot around the perimeter of the Vatican. Afterwards, those who ran in the race and those who were still sleeping were greeted by the smells of an American-style breakfast, served on each of the residence halls. At 12:30 on what turned out to be a beautiful afternoon, the New Men took on the rest of the house in the popular, annual flag-football game known as the Spaghetti Bowl. After several weeks of preparation, the teams squared off against one another for four periods of play complete with national anthems and a live broadcast over the Kardos Family Campo Sportivo, while onlookers were treated to a light barbecue. When all was said
Rev. Msgr. James Checchio ‘92, C’97, Rector of the College, welcomes everyone to the Thanksgiving banquet.
2013 • Issue 2 9
and done, the Old Men left the field victorious by a score of 42-6.
That evening, the students and faculty were joined by a number of distinguished guests, benefactors, and friends to the college for the celebration of Holy Mass. Cardinal Edwin F. O’Brien ‘76, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, celebrated the Mass and it was followed by an impressive Thanksgiving dinner. Following a course of pumpkin-filled ravioli, the cenone consisted of a platter arranged with enough turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes to satisfy even the most voracious appetite. To round the meal off, the community was entertained with a song written by the fifth-year student
priests recounting a comical story involving pumpkin pie, the College, and the current rector, before each table was presented with a pumpkin pie prepared by the fifth-year men. When all had had their fill, the community, along with all who honored the College with their presence, joined in a toast offered to the United States by Reverend David Santos ‘12 (Newark).
A week later, the festivities continued with the New Man / Old Man Show which took place on the evening of Friday, November 30th. This annual event gives the men of the College an opportunity to showcase their talents and, more particularly, their sense of humor. The combined efforts of all involved under the directorship
of Matthew Prochillo ‘16 (Rockville Center) and Mark Baumgarten ‘14 (Perth), resulted in a hilarious and entertaining variety show complete with live stage performances, videos, sword swallowing, and live music. The show, involving countless hours of preparation on the part of many generous members of the community, was enjoyed immensely by both students and faculty.
When the dust had cleared after the conclusion of the multiple events that make up the Thanksgiving festivities of the North American College, it was clear to the community that though they could not be home to celebrate the holiday with family, they did, indeed, have much for which to be thankful.
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Joseph Kuharski ‘14 (St. Paul and Minneapolis) and Alexander Padilla II ‘16 (St. Petersburg) on the line during the Spaghetti Bowl.
10 The Pontifical North American College
“As we all know, the word ‘create’ means to ‘make something out of nothing.’” On the eve of his being “created” a cardinal, His Eminence, James Cardinal Harvey ‘75, former Prefect of the Papal Household, stepped into his new role as a Prince of the Church with these humble words, delivered at the United States Embassy to the Holy See.
The following morning, November 24th, Cardinal Harvey was indeed “created” by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, along with five other cardinals from around the world at an Ordinary Public Consistory held at the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican.
Addressing the Holy Father on behalf of all the cardinals at the Mass of Thanksgiving held the following day, Cardinal Harvey boldly professed that, “In accepting from [the Pope’s] hands the honor of Cardinalship, we
Cardinal HarveyRev. Mr. John Mitchell ‘13, Archdiocese of Milwaukee
bind ourselves with full will, sustained by divine grace, to be perseverant and responsible agents of the New Evangelization.” The Cardinal will have a close patron and example of effective evangelization in St. Paul, as he assumes the office of Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, where the great apostle and evangelist is buried.
After the Papal Mass of Thanksgiving, the College was blessed to host a banquet for the Cardinal, his family, and his guests. Thanking the seminarians for the witness they provide to his own generation, he said in his remarks that priests of his generation “look to you with admiration for the witness you give to the seriousness of what you are about—the free and conscious embrace of a divine vocation which is beautiful but not easy, the vocation to follow Christ the Victim-Priest and join him in carrying the cross, a
precious cross, given to few to carry or even understand.”
Reverend Jacob Strand ’12, a newly ordained priest of the Cardinal’s home Archdiocese of Milwaukee, returned the cross-generational gratitude with a toast that reflected on the simple, quiet witness Cardinal
Harvey has given through his 30 years of unseen service in Rome at the Secretariat of State and as Prefect of the Papal Household for the late, Blessed Pope John Paul II and his successor, Pope Benedict XVI. “Here is a man who has worked in the spotlight, but who abides unseen in humility,” Rev. Strand said, “a man who has cared for the most important, but who loves the unknown just as much as he loves to be unknown. […] For each of us at the College, from the great welcome you gave us at Castel Gandolfo [when we first arrived as New Men] to your continued, prayerful support of our vocations, we see you as an example of what it means to be humble, responsible, and generous. In a word, we see you as a father.”
In thanksgiving for this fatherly witness, and with a pledge of our prayers, the College is proud to wish Cardinal Harvey “ad multos annos” of grace on the road ahead.
American members of the Sacred College of Cardinals gather for a photo with their newest member, His Eminence James Cardinal Harvey ‘75.
2013 • Issue 2 11
seCond CyCle FoCus
A mind well-trained and penetrated by the truth of the Gospel. This is one of the goals
in the formation of candidates to the priesthood, and it is one which each priest must continue to work on and find the time for in his own ministry, for the benefit of serving Christ and His Church. For those of us who have the great blessing of studying in Rome, this task is set into motion at the various Pontifical Universities around the Eternal City. Aside from the Bachelor’s in Sacred Theology (S.T.B.), most men here, once ordained as deacons, can move on to further studies in more specialized areas of theology by working on a License in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.). The S.T.L. is generally a two-year program, offered at most universities in a variety of disciplines. These programs aim to truly keep our minds well trained, but also to help our respective dioceses when we are sent back to preach the Gospel.
For myself, these two years have been a great time of growth and of delving ever more deeply into the mysteries of our Faith. I have been assigned to study at the Pontifical Institute of Spirituality, Teresianum. This institute is under the care of the Order of Discalced Carmelites and, as its name implies, has as its specialization the study of Spirituality. Though small in comparison to many of the other Roman universities, this school of spirituality shares the very same
mission of guiding generations of priests, religious, and lay faithful alike to a more profound understanding of Jesus Christ and his mission here on earth. This small Carmelite school is located not too far from our very own North American College, just a short walk up the very same Gianiculum Hill we claim as our home.
I consider myself most fortunate to have had these two years to immerse myself in the study of an area so linked with our life of prayer and the relationship with Christ we all long for. Though the course work for a Specialization in Spiritual Theology
remains as heavy as any other branch of study, the topics cover a variety of issues near and dear to those seeking to grow in the life of grace, not to mention that it is an immense aid to any wishing to return home to preach this very same message and help direct, guide, and counsel others in their own journey of faith. Under the patronage of St. Teresa of Avila as well as with the aid of the writings of all the other Great Carmelite saints, it has provided me with a greater desire to know my faith more, to love my Lord more, and to evermore spread the Good News of our Lord to all I encounter.
second cycle Focus: sPiritual theology at the teresianumRev. Mario Majano ‘12, Archdiocese of Washington
The Pontifical Institute of Spirituality, Teresianum
college celeBrates 153rd anniversary on Patronal Feast dayWilliam Slattery ‘15, Diocese of Fargo
On December 8th, 2012, the Pontifical North American College celebrated the
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the College’s patronal feast. This day celebrates God’s work in preserving Our Lady from original sin from the moment of her conception. It is a national holiday throughout Italy honoring Mary’s unique role in our salvation.
12 The Pontifical North American College
Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila C‘90, Archbishop of Denver, prays at a Mass celebrating the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
We began our celebration of this feast with the holy sacrifice of the Mass, offered by The Most Reverend Samuel Aquila C‘90, the newly appointed Archbishop of Denver. Archbishop Aquila, who took as his new episcopal motto Mary’s words at the wedding at Cana, “Do whatever he tells you,” invited the students of the North American College to look to Mary
as model student and theologian. In comparing the gospel scene of the Annunciation with St. Anselm’s definition of theology as “faith seeking understanding,” the Archbishop said, “Faith seeks understanding. Mary does not act with suspicion, but trusts as she ponders the words of Gabriel.” At the end of his homily, the Archbishop encouraged all present
to follow Mary more closely in living our faith in the world, “in a world that challenges the gospel.”
After the celebration of the liturgy, our community and guests gathered in the O’Toole Refectory for a hearty banquet. Monsignor James Checchio ‘92, C‘97, Rector of the College, addressed those present by saying that the college is off to a good start this year with a full house. He later officially welcomed the four new faculty members that joined the community this year: Reverend David Gaffney, from the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island; Reverend Lawrence Herrera, S.J., from the California Province of Jesuits; Reverend Donald Henke ‘92, C‘04, from the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Missouri; and Reverend Austin Vetter ‘93, from the Diocese of Bismarck, North Dakota.
As is tradition here at the College, our meal came to a close with the offering of three toasts. Rev. Austin Vetter, the new Director of Spiritual Life, offered a toast to the Holy Father, in which he
LeFt The community of the Pontifical North American College gathers with guests from throughout Rome for a banquet celebrating the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
BeLow Background: Rev. Msgr. James Checchio ‘92, C‘97, Rector, and Rev. Timothy McKeown ’97, prepare for the Immaculate Conception banquet. Foreground: Cardinal Seán O’Malley visits with Rev. Msgr. Peter Wells ‘91.
urged the students to “remain close to the Holy Father in prayer and by listening to his instruction.” The second toast was offered to our beloved United States of America. This toast was offered by Reverend Thomas Kunz ‘04 C’12, of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Lastly, a toast dedicated to our College was offered by Paul Solomon ‘15 from the Diocese of Joliet. Upon finishing these toasts, the community ended the evening by singing the College’s traditional hymn, Ad Multos Annos, a hymn asking God for many more years of grace.
Vergine immacolata, aiutateci!
2013 • Issue 2 13
14 The Pontifical North American College
advent day oF recollection: PreParing the way oF the lordNicholas Colalella ’15, Diocese of Brooklyn
advent day oF reColleCtion
In preparation for this year’s Advent season, the seminary community welcomed back one of its own,
Reverend Joseph G. Fonti ‘92 of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Rev. Fonti returned to lead a weekend of retreat and reflection. Drawing upon a wealth of nearly twenty years of experience as a pastor and seminary spiritual director, Rev. Fonti shared with us his thoughts on the season the Church gives us to prepare for the celebration of Christmas.
Advent, Rev. Fonti explained, is a time in which we must allow the
reflection, renewal, and preparation that Advent provides, Rev. Fonti asserted, prevents us from becoming like such a stone, in which case the message of the Gospel is not internalized and remains a mere external routine. Rather, by examining the faithful example of Mary and Joseph, who welcomed the Son of God into their lives, we become truly open to welcoming the Christ into the dwelling place of our hearts. Rev. Fonti went on to say that this internalization of faith is integral to the ministry of the diocesan priest. The service expected and demanded of priests stems from the root of Jesse, which must be the root of the life of every priest. The priest, Rev. Fonti exclaimed, must reflect the great humility and service expressed by Christ in the Incarnation.
By Sunday evening, Rev. Fonti’s dynamic speaking style, use of personal stories, and of course his heavy Brooklyn accent had caught everyone’s attention as he reminded us that the Incarnation is the great mystery by which we come to know God’s great love for humanity. As the time for the celebration of Christ’s birth was then drawing near, the community was very grateful to Rev. Fonti for assisting them in preparing the way for the Lord.
Seminarians open the Advent day of Recollection with Evening Prayer.
Lord to sink deeply into our lives, to touch the very root of our existence. In describing this spiritual exercise, he alluded to a scene from the movie Godfather III in which an Italian Cardinal takes an old stone which had been sitting in the water of a baroque fountain and throws it at the heels of an infamous gangster. When the stone brakes, the cardinal remarks that though the stone had been wet on the outside, the water failed to penetrate the stone, leaving it rough and dry on the inside.
The opportunity for spiritual
2013 • Issue 2 15
Carl J. Peter
The Carl J. Peter Lecture is an annual lecture given by a guest speaker on some topic related
to preaching. This year’s lecture was given by His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo ‘76, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, who focused on “Preaching with the Fathers of the Church.” Cardinal DiNardo received his license in Patristics from the Augustinianum and said that his goal was to offer a few pastoral observations as a local bishop who loves the Fathers and who has studied them for a long time.
Cardinal DiNardo began by reminding us that the new USCCB document, Preaching the Mystery of the Faith, urges preachers to cultivate a love for the Church Fathers. He commented that too often we read about the Fathers of the Church instead of reading their actual writings. He noted that almost without exception the Church Fathers were bishops, and nearly all of the writings that we have today were originally delivered as homilies.
After making some general observations about the Fathers, Cardinal DiNardo spoke about four characteristics of Patristic preaching and used “four all time great preachers” (Sts. Ambrose, John Chrysostom, Leo the Great, and Augustine) to illustrate his points.
The first characteristic of Patristic preaching that the Cardinal noted was that it was thoroughly Biblical. The writings of the Fathers are infused with Biblical quotes and allusions which they wove throughout their homilies.
Second, their preaching was highly theological. The Fathers were not afraid to preach on theological topics and did not make the modern distinctions between different branches of theology. Instead, they used all of theology, along with the entirety of the Bible, to offer a view of the whole which was intended to lead to moral reflection and wisdom.
carl J. Peter lecture: Focus on the church FathersDavid Angelino ‘15, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
The third characteristic which Cardinal DiNardo observed in Patristic preaching is that it is Sacramental. He noted that many of the homilies which the Fathers delivered were instructions for those who were about to receive the sacraments or explanations to those who had recently received them. It is important to keep this context in mind when reading the Fathers and to remember that the homily shares in the event which is being celebrated.
Finally, Cardinal DiNardo observed that Patristic preaching was meant to bring the listeners to hilaritas (“joy or cheerfulness”). The elegant yet humble style in which the Fathers preached was able to convey a sense of beauty and joy at the mystery of the faith, which the Cardinal encouraged us to strive for in our preaching as well.
16 The Pontifical North American College
liFe at the College
1. Rev. Msgr. James F. Checchio ‘92, C ‘97, Rector of the College, and Rev. Timothy McKeown ‘97, Vice Rector of Seminary Life, with the 2012-2013 Student Pastoral Council.
2. Seminarians enjoy the Christmas Season during the annual Christmas party.
3. James Hansen ‘15 (Rockville Centre) offers cookies to Rev. Mr. John Connaughton ‘13 (Bridgeport) and Rev. Mr. Brendan Bartlett ‘13 (Arlington) during the Christmas hall decorations contest.
4. Daniel Connealy ‘16 (Phoenix) gathers with the Class of 2016 before the annual Spaghetti Bowl.
5. Rev. Mr. Michael Pawlowicz ‘13 (Joliet) and Thomas Schluep ‘14 (Pittsburgh) enjoy some Christmas cheer in the 3rd Hospital Lounge.
6. Rev. Mr. John Mitchell ‘13 (Milwaukee) shows state pride during Thanksgiving dinner. 1
2013 • Issue 2 17
7. David Dufresne ‘14 (Arlington) and Rev. Mr. Brian Buettner ‘13 (Oklahoma City) enjoy the remarks of His Eminence James Cardinal Harvey ‘75.
8. Noah Carter ‘14 (Charlotte) prepares to pass during a game of Ultimate Frisbee.
9. Seminarians attending the Pontifical Gregorian University sing Christmas carols to the university community.
10. Seminarians of the Class of 2016 are given instructions before their Institution to the Ministry of Reader.
11. David Rider ‘14 (New York) leads seminarians from the College and students at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Christmas carols in front of the Trevi Fountain.
12. Priests from the Class of 2012 sing as their classmates serve pumpkin pie to the community at the end of Thanksgiving dinner.
13. Seminarians of 2nd Hospital celebrate after running the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. 14. Andrew Mattingly ‘15 (Kansas City-St. Joseph) and Robert Rodgers ‘14 (Cheyenne) pose for a photo after the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot.
15. Members of the choir salute Dr. Gianfranco De Luca, Director of Liturgical Music, and Ms. Mara DeLuca during the Christmas concert.
18 The Pontifical North American College
the Book Club: Fanning the Flame of Creativity
At the North American College a book club began last year, formed by a group of interested seminarians.
Open to all, the group meets once a week to discuss a book chosen by the seminarians. Members recognize the important role fiction literature plays in the intellectual vitality of a seminarian, from an academic standpoint of helping to complement theological readings, on a practical level of encountering prose not written solely in an academic fashion, and finally on a human level, exposing the seminarians to the beauty of God-given creativity and talent expressed through the medium of fiction writing. In comparison to the style of writing of some theology books, the book club books can seem refreshing, much like an anticipated dessert after a healthy dinnertime meal.
Examples of books selected include The Brothers Karamazov, Barabbas, Brideshead Revisited, Brave New World, and The Short Stories of Flannery O’Connor.
Matthew Cowan ‘14 Diocese of Gaylord
the Hall deacon: Practicing leadership and Fostering Unity
Life in a community of two hundred fifty is both exhausting and exhilarating. It becomes necessary to
foster smaller communities within the whole: it only makes sense that these would be made up of those who live in close proximity.
As a Hall Deacon, I am called to be attentive to the needs of my brothers. Even fulfilling very practical organizational tasks has been a real way to exercise my diaconal service. It falls to me and the other deacons on the hall to encourage the others to invest in the hall, which really becomes a sort of living tradition passed on from older to younger men. Like all leadership roles, it has also been good training in collaboration with others to plan for hall meals and events. I have tried to be open to the ideas of others and creatively foster a spirit of fraternity on the hall. None of us has to wait to start loving his neighbor—we are called to start right here where we are—for me that is my hall, Second Convent.
rev. Mr. spencer howe ‘13 Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
Politalk: in the World but not of the World
Every Thursday evening at the weekly American-style dinner in the refectory, between
twelve to fourteen seminarians, with their plates full of hamburgers, French fries, and baked beans, sit down to discuss international and American current events.
The table, formed two years ago, is open to any seminarian that wishes to catch up on what is going on in the world of politics, economy, moral issues, and other current events.
In order to spur on weekly discussion, an e-mail is distributed on Thursday morning to those who have interest in participating, detailing five possible topics that were in the news during the previous week.
The goal of the table is to encourage all to keep up with current events here in Rome as well as to prepare to engage these issues as priests of Jesus Christ.
Kyle sahd ‘14 Diocese of Harrisburg
2013 • Issue 2 19
Remembering the College in your will or estate plan is an excellent way to make sure America’s Seminary in Rome is able to serve seminarians and priests into the next century. A variety of options are available, many with immediate charitable benefit to you. Contact us today to learn more.
Mark Randall, CFRE
Executive Director for Institutional Advancement 202-541-5403 or [email protected]
ouR Mission today…
youR Legacy toMoRRow...
Coming Fall 2013: Viaggio a Roma 2013 – A personalized tour of the Eternal City with the Pontifical North American College. Exclusive tours and insights to the Vatican, classical historical sights of Rome, and the graduate and undergraduate houses of the North American College. Five-star luxury accommodations, most meals, and transportation around Rome provided.
For more information or to receive an invitation, please contact Mark Randall, CFRE at 202-541-5403 or [email protected].
20 The Pontifical North American College
turning tourists into Pilgrims
Jhonatan Barbosa Porras ‘15, Diocese of Bridgeport
Mark Horn ‘15 (Rapid City) (left) and Gabriel Lopez-Betanzos ‘15 (Madison) welcome Paulina Jones-Mercedes as she visits St. Peter’s Square.
2013 • Issue 2 21
Giving tours at the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter has been the most visible feature
of my apostolate thus far. Truly, it is a great opportunity to talk about the faith with the many people who want to have a guided visit of the Basilica. Turning tourists into pilgrims is the great scope of my apostolic work. This is a much harder task than learning the historical and artistic facts about the Basilica. Yet, it is very rewarding to witness how in the greatness and magnificent beauty of the Basilica there are opportunities to encounter God.
I once gave a tour to a group of nine people, none of whom were Catholic. Explaining the dogma of the Immaculate Conception seen in a veiled way in the Pietà by Michelangelo was not easy. Yet the pilgrims appeared receptive and curious. On another occasion, a couple asked me, “How do you know all this? What do you study?” I replied, “Theology. I want to be a priest.” They said, “What is a priest?” I continued, “A priest is a minister of God.” They concluded, “Ah OK, so you want to help people.” This happened as I showed that the Church is not opposed to science, which one can see in the statue of Pope Gregory XIII, the pope who commissioned the calendar currently used by most of the world.
Some of the pilgrims are strong believers. I have seen people cry in awe at the beauty of the Catholic faith expressed in the Basilica. The statues of Popes that present gloomy expressions due to heavy burdens they have carried (persecutions, wars, etc.) inspire sympathy. The tender images of the Virgin Mary, the main
altar over the remains of Saint Peter, and the effusion of light that floods the Basilica through a window of alabaster are examples of the many moments during which the faithful can remember that they are visiting not a place, but a person; they are visiting Jesus.
All my work relies solely on God; it
is God who plants seeds in people’s hearts. A mosaic of one of Raphael’s paintings combines two biblical scenes and shows that there is a space that only Jesus can fill because everyone has a thirsty heart for God. The Basilica presents opportunities for God to quench these thirsty hearts. One just needs sharp eyes and openness of heart.
Jhonatan Barbosa ‘15 (Bridgeport) leads a tour of the Papal Basilica of St. Peter.
22 The Pontifical North American College
54 men instituted as lectorsAdam Potter ‘16, Diocese of Pittsburgh
On Sunday, January 13th, 2013, fifty-four first-year seminarian classmates and
I were instituted to the Ministry of Lector by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo ‘76, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston. With this institution, we will now have the honor and privilege of proclaiming the Word of God, which “is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit,” during the Liturgy (Hebrews 4:12). The opportunity to lector during Mass is especially reverenced due to its position in the
Liturgy. It is there that the Bride is prepared for the Bridegroom as first the people receive our Lord in the Liturgy of the Word and then His Body and Blood in the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
While there have been many blessed moments this past year for the Class of 2016’s first year in Rome, arguably none was as concrete and unified as when, for the first time as a class, we all one-by-one responded to the Church calling us by name to receive this ministry by standing and
declaring, “Present.” Lord willing, we will give the same response on the day of our ordination, first to the diaconate and then again to priesthood.
After the homily, all of us to be instituted as Lectors knelt two-by-two in the center aisle and were prayed for by the community to be faithful and steadfast in our new ministry. Following these prayers, we processed forward two at a time and knelt before Cardinal DiNardo for the rite of institution. As we openly received and securely held the
Stephen Wyble ‘16 (Washington) is instituted to the ministry of lector by His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo ‘76, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston.
2013 • Issue 2 23
Sacred Scriptures, to each of us His Eminence exhorted, “Take this book of Holy Scripture and be faithful in handing on the Word of God, so that it may grow strong in the hearts of His People.” In trusting confidence in the Lord, we responded, “Amen.”
With hearts grateful to the Lord and everyone who contributed to this day, we newly instituted Lectors also received an incredible gift in an affirmation of the vocation within us as the Church gave her approval to each one of us to take one step closer to the priesthood.
May Mary, Mother of Priests, guide and teach us how to proclaim the Word of God by keeping us under the mantle of her protection, forming us into the image of her Son, and modeling for us how to say yes to the will of the Lord at each and every moment.
The newly-instituted lectors with, from left, Rev. Msgr. James Checchio ’92, C’97, Rector of the College, His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo ‘76, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, and Most Reverend Michael Mulhall ‘88, Bishop of Pembroke.
Brian Lenz ‘16 (Lansing) is instituted to the ministry of lector by His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo ‘76, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston.
24 The Pontifical North American College
Following in the FootstePs oF christReverend Mr. Michael Pawlowicz ‘13, Diocese of Joliet in Illinois
holy land pilgrimage
The old stone streets are dark as you walk through them. Overhead the yellow torches
allow light spaced just far enough apart that faith and sight mix, leading down steps to the Sanctum Sanctorum: the Holy Sepluchre of Christ. As you descend the steps arriving in the courtyard, to your left the eternal gates have been opened. Out pours the sound of organ blast in all those tones familiar to a Catholic. For a moment, the unfamiliar surroundings of the Old City of Jerusalem are renewed by the notes and become a familiar home, a Church, a sacrifice of praise. So you enter into the Basilica, the place of the Lord’s Crucifixion, the place of His entombment, the place of His Resurrection. You rest your head against the wall, close your eyes and welcome the tick of the New Year’s first minute in praise of God and thanksgiving of all His many gifts.
As in years past, about thirty students of the Pontifical North American College made pilgrimage to the Holy Land over the Christmas break. Under the direction of house spiritual director, Reverend Brendan Hurley, SJ, the seminarians followed in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus
The altar on Calvary within the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
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in Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, and the Holy City of Jerusalem. Aided by the spiritual leadership of Reverend David Gaffney and Reverend Matthew Libra ‘12 (Portland), the seminarians saw the home, walked on the land, and breathed the very air consecrated, set apart and blessed by the Lord to provide the fount of salvation for the American men and women they will soon consecrate, bless and set apart for service to the Gospel of Life.
These very students - the next generation of priests and leaders of the Church of Christ - will consecrate our children in the waters of Baptism, bless our brothers and sisters as they wed one another, and set them apart as they dedicate themselves to God alone, receiving the Holy Spirit at Confirmation. These students, preparing to teach the people of God, have learned from Him reading the Beatitudes on the very Mount from which they were proclaimed. These students, preparing to sanctify the people of God, have received the life-giving Sacrament under the
Cross from which they receive their power. These students, preparing to govern the people of God, have heard the powerful words, “Do you love me? Tend my flock.” along the very waters which witnessed those words centuries ago. These are gifts never to be reserved to the priests alone, but treasures to be given and handed over to the whole people of God in the parishes across the United States.
After a week on the Sea of Galilee, we set our faces toward Jerusalem and drove south on the same road that took the Lord eleven days to traverse. After three hours through desert, hills, and winding roads with smiles and expectation we finally saw the eastern walls of the City, praying with the Psalmist, “I rejoiced when I heard them say, “Let us go to God’s house.” And now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem” (Ps 122:1). The peace of Galilee was shattered by the bustle of the City and my smile accepted solemnity as I slowly realized, He came here to die. Throughout the city, we celebrated Mass and prayed at those same
places that God came to prepare to die for us. The Mount of Olives is a ten minute walk to the Prætorium; from Pilate’s house, another ten to Caiaphus’s; the Upper Room, mere stones from there. It was all so close.
On October 4th, 2012, I was ordained a deacon to preach the Gospel and to serve. It was a wonderful day. Surrounded by my family and my seminarian brothers, we celebrated and surrounded ourselves in the splendor of the Eternal City. What I witnessed in the Holy Land was a splendor of a slightly different sort. Rome testifies to the Church which is alive and thriving and continues to cry out to the whole world the name of Jesus. Galilee, Nazareth, and Jerusalem return us to the Man Himself, the sole reason for our faith, the sole port of Peter’s Ship. It is for the Man of Galilee that I was ordained to serve Holy Mother Church and it is that Man - whom I met anew in Galilee and at Calvary - that I desire to love and offer to the Church as a Priest.
As I rested my head against the Sepluchre’s wall, it hit me in a new way. Yes, He came here to die … but it was right here that He rose. Here, now surrounded by this building, He who died for us likewise rose and lives for us. Listening to the Psalms echo throughout the Basilica - the voice of the New Year’s Te Deum - I gave thanks to the Man I met anew in the Holy Land, the Man I will serve as a priest, the Man whom I hope to meet when I too awake from death and rise to heaven.
Seminarians praying the Way of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa.
26 The Pontifical North American College
new modules For ongoing Priestly FormationRev. Msgr. Anthony Figueiredo C’00
The environment in which a priest ministers is changing. In the past, many parishes were staffed by two, three or more priests. Today, the priest often lives alone and at a distance from his brothers. Some priests have pastoral charge of two or more parishes. With the increased workload comes the risk that traditional aids to sustain and support priests in the ministry – including the fraternal, spiritual and intellectual – are diminished. This changing
environment begs a response from all those responsible for the ongoing formation of priests, beginning with the priest himself: to help “stir into flame” (2 Tim 1:6) the gift bestowed on the day of ordination so that the day to day work of the priest unfolds into the “foreverness of priesthood.”
For over forty years, the Pontifical North American College has provided over two thousand five hundred priests with ongoing formation.
Rev. Msgr. Anthony J. Figueiredo C’00, ICTE Director, takes a photo with the Spring 2012 ICTE class after celebrating Mass in Rome.
This has taken the form of a three month sabbatical, which has proven highly effective in renewing priests spiritually, updating their theological knowledge, and equipping them for even better pastoral ministry. Now, in an effort to respond to current opportunities and challenges, the program has been revamped. Beginning Spring 2013, two diverse offerings are proposed each year: three-week modules in the Spring
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(participants may opt for one or more modules); and the single three-month sabbatical in the Fall.
The four modules in Spring 2013 are being offered in the context of the “Year of Faith” and the New Evangelization. Each will comprise two elements: (1) a five day spiritual retreat, all with a different theme and director; (2) course instruction spread over ten days, focusing on a pastoral-theological area of particular relevance for priests today. Specific details are found on the PNAC website.
How important ongoing formation is for priests! Jesus has chosen to enlist us in His mission to “go forth and make disciples of all the nations” (Mt 28:19). Now the onus is upon us to keep aflame the zeal that leads us to respond so generously and enthusiastically on the day of our ordination. “Permanent formation is a requirement of the priest’s own faithfulness to his ministry, to his very being,” Blessed John Paul II wrote in his Post Synodal Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis (“I will give you Shepherds”). “It is love for Jesus Christ and fidelity to oneself. But it is also an act of love for the People of God, at whose service the priest is placed” (n. 70). Through prayer, liturgy, priestly fraternity, participation in courses and outside visits in and beyond Rome, our aim is to help priests love even more Jesus, God’s people, and their own call. All of this in the unique setting of the Eternal City, in a home dedicated to and designed exclusively for priests on the campus of an inspiring seminary, filled with zealous future priests. Let us rejoice that the invitation made by Jesus to His disciples can reach us today: “Come away by yourselves and rest for a while” (Mk 6:31)!
21st Annual Rectors Dinner
April 11, 2013
The Janiculum Campus
For more information, see www.pnac.org or call 202-541-5403
28 The Pontifical North American College
The 11th annual Umiltà Awards were held in Washington, DC on November 9th, 2012. This year’s honorees were the Most Reverend Carlo Viganò (Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S.) and Bill and Sue Cicherski (Council for Institutional Advancement members and longtime friends of the College.) Several hundred benefactors and alumni gathered at the Willard Hotel for an evening of celebration, fellowship, and financial support of the College mission. The date and location of the 2013 Umiltà Awards will be announced soon.
1. Most Rev. Carlo Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, offers remarks after accepting his award.
2. Honorees Mr. Bill and Mrs. Sue Cicherski accept their award from Msgr. James Checchio ‘92, C’97, Rector of the College, and Most Rev. John J Myers ‘67, Archbishop of Newark and Chairman of the Board of Governors.
3. Rev. Msgr. James Checchio ‘92, C‘97, Rector of the College, Most Rev. Carlo Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, and Most Rev. John J Myers ‘67, Archbishop of Newark and Chairman of the Board of Governors.
4. Ms. Joan Lewis, Rome Bureau Chief for EWTN, and Most Rev. Robert Gruss ‘94, Bishop of Rapid City and former Vice Rector of the College.
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Mark Randall, CFREExecutive Director, Institutional Advancement
Although I work from our offices in Washington, DC, I recently had the pleasure of spending some time at the College in Rome over the course of two visits.
While not my first trips to the Eternal City or the North American College campus, these visits gave me a chance to fully explore the vast organization that is “The NAC”. While one could write many reflections on the experience of being at the College, I offer but a few brief musings.
Being situated in Rome, so close to the Vatican, was part of the rationale for founding the College in 1859– and what makes it still extraordinary today. The seminarians are highly engaged with St. Peter’s Basilica (giving tours, serving for the Holy Father at Mass, etc.) and other major basilicas and holy sites in Rome. Several of our faculty also work within the Curia, bringing a unique perspective to their instruction. The American ordinaries that are in Rome often frequent the College for meals, meetings, or just to be with our students. One cannot spend time at the NAC and not feel intimately connected to the epicenter of our Faith.
In addition to being a large physical place, the day-to-day execution of the College mission is highly complex and involved. Three hundred people are fed three times daily; every seminarian has his own formation schedule and advisory team; the admissions office works with over 100 dioceses in the US; the Casa Santa Maria and ICTE programs require additional collaboration; dozens of VIP guests are hosted each week; and most impressively, a relatively small staff manages all of it with seeming ease.
There is a palpable sense of joy among those one meets at the College. From the seminarians to the priests who serve as faculty members to the kitchen workers and secretaries…everyone offers a warm greeting and smile. These are people who love what they do, where they do it. They are at peace with their vocations, religious or lay. They very much enjoy being part of the College family.
And perhaps most importantly, given the mission of the College, I believe one cannot miss the sense of holiness that exists there among the seminarians. Not implied
30 The Pontifical North American College
piety, but real people working every day to be closer to God. One sees the reverence in the Chapel, of course, but also in the schedules the men keep and the openness they have to their discernment. I’ve chatted with dozens of our seminarians and – to a man - each one recognizes how special the NAC is, and embraces the path he is on.
I imagine that alumni reading this, or benefactors who have visited campus, may concur with these observations. I would enjoy reading your reflections on what you experienced at the NAC. Email me at [email protected].
Meanwhile, back at our offices in Washington, DC… we are readying for some exciting projects this year. The recent outcomes of the so-called “fiscal cliff” negotiations will hopefully prove to be palatable for all. The Office of Institutional Advancement remains ready to assist benefactors with gift planning and execution. From specialized endowments to monthly giving programs, we have a variety of ways in which you can help sustain the critical work we are doing in Rome.
Watch your mailbox for details on a new innovative way to support the college, and check your email inbox for our latest news, via Firmum Est, our new monthly email newsletter. You can sign up to receive it at http://onlinegiving.pnac.org. And finally, please consider joining us in Rome on April 11 for the twenty-first annual Rector’s Dinner. We are thrilled to honor His Eminence, Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and Kenneth and Karen Kenworthy of Edmund, OK. The invitation and reservation forms can be found on our website (www.pnac.org).
None of us can predict what surprises 2013 has in store for us. But I can assure you the Pontifical North American College will continue doing what it has been doing for the past 153 years: forming seminarians and priests in the heart of Rome to become faithful, strong leaders. Please accept our sincere thanks for all you do to help make that possible.
250 seMinaRians want to eMaiL you next Month.
Sign up today for our brand new monthly email newsletter, “Firmum Est.” Photos, stories and more from Rome, right to your inbox. To sign up visit http://onlinegiving.pnac.org
2013 • Issue 2 31
On January 1st of every year we Catholic faithful gather to celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. Mother Church in her wisdom
understands we need to begin the first day of the year in prayer and worship to God for all his blessings and praying fervently for peace and reconciliation, which are themselves a gift from God. Also, we acknowledge the immensity of God’s love for us, which he shows by incarnating his love on Earth through the gift of his Son and Our Savior Jesus Christ. Also, this plan of salvation is realized in the perfect yes of Mary, who though fully human, is chosen by God to be the mother of our savior, thus the Mother of God. Indeed, each new year we should give thanks to God for all of his blessings, both spiritual and material, and be renewed in never taking them for granted, but insuring we are responsible in how we respond to the gift of faith and the other blessings God gives to us each and every day.
As 2013 begins here at the Pontifical North American College, the seminarians are presently engaged in greater theological studies and reflection as they prepare for their fall semester exams. In addition, they are giving thanks to God for his many blessings, particularly a solid and inspiring theological education at the many Pontifical Universities throughout the city of Rome and their pastoral formation here at the College, as well as their interaction and sharing of their time and talents in a variety of apostolic programs. All of these experiences are made possible through the blessings of God, both spiritual and material. I tell our seminarians constantly to be sure
Monsignor Michael Farmer ’95, Archdiocese of Mobile
we must Be ready and eager For every oPPortunity to do good, and Put our whole heart into it.
to send thank you notes to all of their benefactors and the College instils in each seminarian to pray for and be thankful for the many benefactors that make their unique opportunity here in Rome possible. Thus, as a new year begins, please know your generosity, both spiritual and material, are greatly appreciated and indeed are insuring in this Year of Faith and beyond that young men will be sent home filled with love for the Triune God and His Holy Church and eager to serve and proclaim the Gospel.
Also in this New Year your generosity is making possible the ongoing material needs of the College, from mundane but necessary roof repairs and terrace restoration, painting of stairwells and repair of pipes, to a more comprehensive technology upgrade that will be a welcome material blessing for our seminarians and staff of the College. Some of these material blessings we will share with you throughout 2013 through Roman Echoes, our ever improving website, and beginning this year a new electronic newsletter entitled Firmum Est. In giving thanks to God for his past, present, and future blessings, please know that you alumni, friends, and benefactors of the College are very much part of the blessings of God that we receive each and every day. Thank you for your prayers and material support and be assured of ours. There is always the temptation to forget or take for granted the gift of faith and blessings of God. Pope St. Clement I reminds us in a very beautiful homily of how we ought to respond to God’s many blessings: What must we do then, brothers? Give up good works? Stop practicing Christian love? God forbid!
The Pontifical North American CollegeOffice of Institutional Advancement3211 Fourth Street, NEWashington, D.C. 20017-1194
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For more information about the Pontifical North American College, subscription questions, or to learn about ways you can financially support “America’s Seminary in Rome”, please contact Mark Randall, CFRE, Executive Director, Institutional Advancement.
Tel: (202) 541-5411 / Fax: (202) 722-8804 Email: [email protected] website: www.pnac.org
Alumni Association Meeting
Hosted by the See of Pittsburgh
at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh
June 18-20, 2013