“Top Five” 2015: Week Four

June 16, 2015

by Martin Vu (Diocese of Orange)

Top Five Highlights of Week Four:

NUMBER ONE: Why Rome?
Why “Roman” Catholic? Is Catholic Rome simply a coincidence of history? Or are there prophetic and Biblical reasons why Rome is at the heart of Christendom? We affirm the latter, and in our first day of class with Dr. Taylor Marshall (a convert from the Episcopal Church), we explore this rich tradition of interpretation going back to the prophet Daniel.

NUMBER TWO: Sacred Architecture
Our second class, led by Catholic artist Matthew Alderman, delves into the history of Catholic worship, particularly as manifested through sacred architecture. We look at basic architectural principles such as strength, usefulness, and beauty, and we examine how these principles have been applied as a means of aiding Catholic worship throughout the centuries.

NUMBER THREE: Duomo in Florence
Some seminarians were fortunate enough to view the magnificent Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower) in Florence. The grand dome, the color-alternating neo-Gothic façade, and the sheer mass of the cathedral was a sight to behold. Along with St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, Notre-Dame de Fourvière in Lyon, and Maria Auxiliadora in Turin, I would rank the Duomo among the Top 5 Churches I have visited thus far.

NUMBER FOUR: Tomb of St. John Bosco
Don Bosco–a saint (portrait shown above) known for his joyful apostolate to the youth and his unwavering trust in Divine Providence. It was difficult for me to suppress emotions as I knelt in reverence before this holy man of God.

NUMBER FIVE: Shroud of Turin
We capped off the week by visiting the Shroud of Turin. Along with countless other pilgrims, we walked in the rain as we trudged along a slow-winding path towards the miracle we were hoping to see. After the better part of two hours, marking exactly 3 PM, the Hour of Mercy, we stood before the shroud, our hearts in a state of awe and thanksgiving for the great mercy God has shown us in the death and resurrection of His Son.