We have almost finished our first full week of the sabbatical. How time flies! Before leaving for Rome, I was asked by many, "Father, what will you do the whole time?" Well, by way of illustration let me tell you what we've done and what we will be doing next week.
Tomorrow morning we finish our first week-long theological presentation given by Father John Fuellenbach, SVD. His topic has been "Following the Lord," an examination of Jesus' requirements of discipleship (primarily taken from St. Mark's gospel). Saturday morning we're going to Monte Cassino for the day where we will celebrate Holy Mass at the tomb of St. Benedict, the father of Western monasticism.
Next week, our theological presentations include "Eastern Christianity" by Father Bernard J. O'Connor from the Vatican Congregation for the Oriental Churches; "Vatican II Commentary" by Father Wojciech Giertych, OP, Theologian of the Papal Household; "Christian Art & Architecture" by Liz Lev of Duquesne and John Cabot Universities; and "Orientation to Catholic Rome" by Msgr. Daniel Mueggenborg, Vice Rector for Administration of the Pontifical North American College.
Next week we will also tour the SCAVI below Saint Peter's Basilica and do a tour of the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. We will end the week with a day at Casa Santa Maria where many U.S. priests live while pursuing graduate degrees in various theological disciplines. Our day at Casa Santa Maria will include a visit to the tombs of St. Monica and St. Philip Neri (sometimes referred to as "the second Apostle of Rome") which are near the Casa Santa Maria. We will also tour both the Gregorian University and Biblicum, also near the Casa.
So, as you can see, we stay busy!