ALUMNI NEWS | An Alum’s Royal Encounter

October 18, 2019
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On October 13, 2019, Pope Francis celebrated the Holy Mass and Canonization of the Blesseds John Henry Newman, Giuseppina Vannini, Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan, Dulce Lopes Pontes, and Marguerite Bays.

Fr. Greg Bierbaum (The Rome Experience 2013) traveled to Rome for the canonization of John Henry Newman. Fr. Greg stayed at CIAM, a familiar place to all of our alumni, where at a reception he had the chance to meet Prince Charles and Mr. & Mrs. Gingrich. We are grateful for the news and photos Fr. Greg shared with us!


To cry out. To walk. To give thanks. Today we give thanks to the Lord for our new Saints. They walked by faith and now we invoke their intercession. Three of them were religious women; they show us that the consecrated life is a journey of love at the existential peripheries of the world. Saint Marguerite Bays, on the other hand, was a seamstress; she speaks to us of the power of simple prayer, enduring patience and silent self-giving. That is how the Lord made the splendour of Easter radiate in her life, in her humbleness. Such is the holiness of daily life, which Saint John Henry Newman described in these words: “The Christian has a deep, silent, hidden peace, which the world sees not… The Christian is cheerful, easy, kind, gentle, courteous, candid, unassuming; has no pretence… with so little that is unusual or striking in his bearing, that he may easily be taken at first sight for an ordinary man” (Parochial and Plain Sermons, V, 5).

Let us ask to be like that, “kindly lights” amid the encircling gloom. Jesus, “stay with me, and then I shall begin to shine as Thou shinest: so to shine as to be a light to others” (Meditations on Christian Doctrine, VII, 3). Amen.