Tuesday, February 2, 2016


To all of our friends, family, and in particular to all of our generous benefactors:

Sincerest thanks for supporting the Saint Paul Seminary Theology IV class of 2016! May God abundantly bless you all and your family and friends for your generosity in supporting us on our journey to the Priesthood!

We are onto the stage of packing on our final night here in the eternal city of Rome.

We will be joining our brothers and the SPS community and resuming classes for the Spring 2016 semester beginning Monday February 8th.

See you all stateside!

In Christ,
Theology IV

FINAL WEEK: Monday Feb 1 - Evening

ABOVE:  Mass with Fr. Joseph Carola, SJ, chaplain of the University of St. Thomas undergraduate Catholic Studies semester abroad in Rome.

ABOVE:  The room in which Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (i.e. the Jesuits) died.  Notice the painting of the scene of his death on the right wall.

FINAL WEEK: Monday Feb 1 - Afternoon

The Casa Santa Maria is a residence in Rome that serves English Speaking priests who are sent from their Diocese for graduate level studies (i.e. Sacred Scripture, Canon Law, etc.)

Many of our esteemed faculty of the Saint Paul Seminary completed graduate level studies while residing here in Rome.  This includes our group leader - Fr. Juan Miguel Betancourt who studied Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute.

ABOVE:  Photo of the group in the chapel at the Casa (dedicated to Our Lady of Humility).

ABOVE:  A picture of the inner cloister / courtyard of the Casa residence.  It's a 17th c. building (1601 AD) that was originally founded as a Dominican monastery for young women.  In 1859, the building was given over to the American Bishops who established the North American College in Rome for the training of priests.  Once the amount of seminarians out grow the space, the NAC was relocated.  Now about 72 priests from 42 U.S. diocese and other English speaking countries reside here for further studies.

ABOVE:  Picture of one of the two inner gardens.  Gives a nice quiet to all the outside business of Rome!

FINAL WEEK: Monday Feb 1

ABOVE:  Group shot of the 7 men to be ordained priests of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  The photo was taken atop the roof of the residence in which we had the midday meeting with Cardinal Burke.

FINAL WEEK: Monday Feb 1 - Cardinal Burke

ABOVE:  Our group was received for a midday appointment with Cardinal Burke.  He was the bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse, WI for almost nine years of service.  During that time he founded the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Final Days in Rome!

BELOW:  Mass at 7:30 AM on Friday January 29, at the Chapel of St. Joseph, in the Basilica of St. Peter.


MONDAY February 1:

  • Appointment with Cardinal Raymond Burke 
  • Mass and tour of the Church of Gesù which is the mother church of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).  
TUESDAY February 2:

  • Mass with the Holy Father, Pope Francis, for the celebration of the Presentation.

ASSISI: more

ABOVE:  Sunset in Assisi.

ABOVE:  Distant view of the Basilica of St. Francis which contains in the crypt his tomb.