Becoming Saints | Postcards from Rome 2022

July 14, 2022
  • Casa Brigida

Casa di Santa Brigida – The House of A Saint
Fr. Ryan Brady arranged for us to receive a tour from the Brigidine Sisters, in whose house we stay. They gave us a brief overview of who St. Bridget was and the origin of the Brigidine Sisters. They also let us see the rooms in which St. Bridget lived and died. In looking at these rooms, it was abundantly clear to me how much they loved St. Bridget and wished to follow her saintly example. No square inch of these three rooms was left undesigned, and if an altar did not rest against a wall, a stained glass window or large painting telling the life of St. Bridget does. To be able to be in the house of a great saint and to see the love the sisters had for their great patron was edifying.

Fr. Francisco Insa – To Form the Whole Person
This week, we had Fr. Francisco Insa with us this week to hear confessions, provide spiritual direction, and say Mass for us. It was great to have him around for meals and fraternity time, and to learn from his example as a man who has generously given his whole life to the service of God. Fr. Insa told us about how he uses his doctorate in psychiatry in his role as moral theologian and spiritual director. He told us how the whole human person needs to be engaged in the work of formation for formation to have its effect, and that to be celibate men means to have all the virtues, natural and supernatural, assimilated in an intelligent way.

The Brothers – Their Edifying Example
Throughout this whole Rome Experience, I continue to be edified by the prayerful and encouraging example of my brothers, who by their example continue to call me to be a better and more assimilated man who is on his way to the priesthood. Whether it’s in the early mornings, the warm classroom, or the different situations to which we need to adapt. Seeing their joy and resiliency in light of all the different situations – positive or negative – that may arise in The Rome Experience has led me to appreciate all that has happened in a profound way. Each challenge is not something that we can complain about, but instead an opportunity to ask for God’s grace to assimilate more deeply into our lives and to transform us into the saints that he is calling us to be.

St. Padre Pio – To Visit a Modern Saint
Last weekend, seven of us had the opportunity to travel to San Giovanni Rotundo, where St. Padre Pio lived as a friar and did most of his spiritual work. It was quite a journey to get there, which involved a three hour train ride and an hour bus ride up the hill on which St. Pio lived. To be able to walk in the places that a saint prayed, lived, and said Mass was an experience I will never forget. To see his body and venerate it, and to witness all those who also wished to be with this great saint was impactful to me because it taught me that lives can truly be changed if even one person is docile to the gifts and promptings of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Connor Schmidt
Archdiocese of Baltimore