June 6, 2017
  • re-2017-pentecost

Highlights: First Days in Rome

For the feast of Pentecost, we were able to go to Mass at the Pantheon.  It was such a beautiful liturgy as well as quite an adventure! When we showed up, the line was too long for us to get in, yet as we were standing outside the front, a priest looked at us and waved to us to come inside. He ushered us into a place on the left side close to the altar, and after a while we were moved even closer into pews very close to the altar. In about half an hour before Mass, the Master of Ceremonies came up and asked two of us if we could participate in the Liturgy by doing the first reading in English as well as the prayers of the faithful. The liturgy was sung with a full choir that was accompanied by a four-part schola. After the final blessing at the end of Mass, the choir began to sing Veni Creator Spiritus when a torrent of red rose petals began to rain down through the oculi or hole in the top of the Pantheon, symbolizing the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. It was so beautiful! Afterward we went and grabbed a good Italian lunch to celebrate the great feast.

On June 5, we attended our first class on Human Virtues for Priestly Fatherhood with Fr. Robert Gahl, which was insightful, exciting, and helpful for many of us as we continue in our formation.  After class finished, we raced to St Peter’s Basilica to make the Scavi tour. This tour consists of a walk through the archeological digs below the Basilica that uncovered the bones of our first Pope. It was a very powerful experience to see the very roots of our Church placed right below the high altar in St Peter’s, and it was moving to see the devout care that centuries of Christians have taken to preserve and revere the bones of our first Pope.  After the Scavi tour, we hopped on an open air bus that took us all over Rome and around the important sites.  It was a good overview of the city and it excited us to see the areas that we can come back and visit leisurely later on.  On arriving back home, we were all exhausted and ready for sleep!

Michael Masteller
The Rome Experience Class of 2017
Archdiocese of Los Angeles
St. John’s Seminary

[About the Photo: Seminarians from the Class of 2017 at the Pantheon in Rome for the celebration of Pentecost Sunday. Courtesy of Michael Masteller.]